Sometimes, it's hard to look at another man and see what all the fuss is about.
It's not that we can't recognise Benedict Cumberbatch is an all-round good guy: talented, funny, polite, handsome in a public school boy sort of way (even if his face was once memorably compared to a foot).
No, it's the fuss itself we find bewildering. It's hard to think of another fully grown man who demands the level of female devotion as Cumbers, whose fans regularly come together in an online, middle-aged version of Beatlemania to endlessly discuss his virtues and hang on his every move.
To find out just how he managed it, Esquire delved into the world of Cumberlove to see precisely what it is the rest of us can learn from the actor.
1. CHANGE YOUR NAME TO SOMETHING FUNNY
Before you even get to the man himself, there is that name. It's pure internet meme gold—easily punned on, vaguely rude and funny to say out loud.
Whoever said an unusual name is a disadvantage in life?
2. HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR (AND USE IT WISELY)
Benedict's Reddit 'Ask Me Anything' session three years ago was a masterclass in handling haters and hysterical fans alike.
His strategy was to deflect their approaches with a mixture of irony and dry wit, simultaneously dousing the Cumberlove flames and stoking them. Smart.
3. APPRECIATE THE POSSIBILITIES OF YOUR POSITION
(original image by Julian Broad, esquire.com)
4. FOLLOW CURRENT AFFAIRS (AND REALLY MEAN IT)
For a strange period over the summer of 2013, BC took to covering his face from the paparazzi with pieces of paper imploring them to pay more attention to world events instead of "silly ole' me."
At first it seemed like a display of psuedo-intellectual moralising that was bound to backfire, a bit like that time in college when we tried to impress a girl by ranting about Communism and accidentally referred to Groucho Marx.
But then Cumberbatch pulled out a 4 page message to the government about their detention of journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner, asking "is this erosion of civil liberties winning the war on terror?", sending his Twitter fans into overdrive.
The lesson? Don't just appear to care about more important things than yourself, actually know a little bit about them, too.
5. FIND AN ACCESSORY YOU LIKE AND WEAR IT. A LOT.
Cumberbatch wears his trademark Scarf Of Some Description whether it's on the red carpet, pounding the high street, or at a sunny music festival while in flip flops.
6. BE A FEMINIST
Despite having one loyal group of fans with over 250,000 Twitter followers who call themselves "Cumberbitches," Cumberbatch himself rejects the term.
In an interview Caitlin Moran (author of How to be a Woman), he explained: "It's not even politeness. I won't allow you to be my bitches. I think it sets feminism back so many notches. You are... Cumberpeople," wisely deducing that men casually deploying the term "bitch" is unacceptable–even when it's a word made up in your honor. Since his intervention, more of his fans have adopted the term "CumberCollective."
7. NEVER TRY AND HIDE YOUR PAST
Benedict's never made a secret of his well-off upbringing, admitting: "I was brought up in a world of privilege." Rather, he wears his privilege on his sleeve—which is why no one resents him for it. Not for BC the upper class guilt that leads to the adoption of safe stage names or fake accents–although he has complained of being "class-typed" to play the part of the elite. In perfect Queen's English, of course.
8. BE GOOD AT DOING IMPRESSIONS
9. BE INSPIRED BY CLEVER PEOPLE
Or in Benny C's case–play them.
His most famous role, of course, is Sherlock Holmes–a fictional character, but a genius none the less. A close second might be his role as Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness.
He's also played Stephen Hawking, Vincent van Gogh, TS Eliot, and Julian Assange. Oh, and the UK Prime Minister in The Simpsons, though how clever a character that is is open to debate.
The net result of depicting all these smart roles is that Benedict himself has a reputation as a "thinking woman's hottie,"which is certainly better than being the "stupid woman's hottie," or indeed "no woman's hottie" at all.
10. LOOK GOOD WITH A BABY
This one seems a bit obvious.
11 FINALLY, IF IN DOUBT, ALWAYS SHOOT YOUR CUFFS
It's been pointed out that Benedict Cumberbatch has a tendency to "go for the cuffs" when being photographed.
A sure fire shortcut to looking suave (though do it too often and you start to look a little neurotic), it's a habit that sums up everything we like about the man.
And it's probably the only thing on this list we can all definitely do ourselves.
From: Esquire UK