The 'Giddy' Moment That Sold Benedict Cumberbatch On Doctor Strange

In 2016, Benedict Cumberbatch joined the MCU with "Doctor Strange," the tale of a world-famous neurosurgeon whose life changes forever after a car accident robs him of using his hands. Unable to come to terms with his new reality, Dr. Stephen Strange finds himself pursuing experimental surgeries. In search of hope and healing, he ultimately finds himself before a mysterious enclave and in the presence of the Ancient One — a sorcerer who agrees (albeit reluctantly) to train him in the mystic arts. The former surgeon is soon forced to choose between his life of fortune and success — or leave everything behind to defend his planet as the most powerful sorcerer alive. We all know how it goes.

"Doctor Strange" is an incredible Marvel movie experience; it features cool, trippy visual effects and a solid performance from Cumberbatch. While the actor has tackled various roles during his long-spanning career, none resembled the superhero with the billowing red cape. The actor was never nervous about his MCU debut, though, because the moment he saw himself in Doctor Strange's costume, he was "giddy" and well-prepared for the adventure that awaited him.

The Doctor Strange costume made it too real

Benedict Cumberbatch is a man of many roles — he has played a world-famous detective, an awkward but genius mathematician, and a cloak-wearing, magic-wielding sorcerer. Only the third role required him to put on an elaborate costume — which made Cumberbatch "giddy like a child at Halloween" upon seeing himself in the mirror (via Parade).

The actor thought "Doctor Strange" had an endearing story, and the superhero's origin story was important to him. Wearing the costume for the first time only convinced him that the movie was something special.

"I was sort of giddy like a child at Halloween. It was the first moment really, properly. And Alexandra Byrne, our costume designer who has done a few of these, said, "Oh, yeah. I can see you're having a moment." It really was the penny drop moment for me. This film had lots of endearing qualities, lots of things that made me really want to go to it, and this character, particularly what Scott and Kevin were pitching to me as his origin story and his trajectory, and where he was going to go in the universe. The journey he goes on was supremely important to me and there are great qualities of drama, but also great humor amongst that profundity and oddness, and unique weirdness. I had put the appearance thing on the background, so when I had that moment, I really was quite giddy and I ended up giggling."

It wasn't the last time the actor felt excited about the role.

'It was just magic...'

The second time Cumberbatch's MCU role inspired him again was during its filming in New York City. The actor was performing his stunts — a combination of running, skipping, and flying, while paparazzi desperately tried to capture a glimpse of him. The actor could hardly believe he was playing Doctor Strange — because the people who crafted the comics lived in the same city.

"The second time it hit home was near the end of the main body of the shoot when we were in New York on Fifth Avenue and there were as many paparazzi as there was crew — it was a little surreal — but we were on Fifth Avenue and running — skipping really — jumping to fly and there was the Empire State Building in the same eye line. It was just magic to think that the men and women who first crafted these comics on the floors of some of those buildings, in that town, and there I was playing on it."

The character first appeared in "Strange Tales #110" back in July 1963, and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The superhero serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, often referred to as Earth's primary protector against any magical threats. Strange was created during a vital moment in comic book history known as the Silver Age of Comic Books. At the time, these comics explained superhero phenomena and their origin through the lens of science, and the character was expected to bring a certain mysticism to Marvel Comics. It wasn't until decades later that the superhero's magical origins flourished on the silver screen.

Benedict Cumberbatch continued to reprise his role as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange in five other movies: "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017), "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018), "Avengers: Endgame" (2019), "Spider-Man: No Way Home" (2021), and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," which is set to release May 4, 2022.