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Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s Benedict Cumberbatch has been a stage actor when it comes to acting on stage, film and television. His performances have earned him accolades and multiple awards. And yet, like any celebrity actor, there are those questionable projects that appear on Cumberbatch’s resume. One role, in particular, has haunted him for years: playing a non-binary fashion model. Zoolander 2. Years after that character, the doctor strange 2 The star chose to reflect on the controversy.

When Zoolander 2 Hitting theaters in 2016, the sequel was poorly received by critics and audiences alike. Before the film hit theaters, Benedict Cumberbatch’s All was already facing backlash for a cisgender man playing a non-binary character. It served as a momentary bump in the Oscar nominee’s career, but the MCU star couldn’t help but bring up the criticized cameo while chatting with Zoolander 2 co-star Penelope Cruz for Variety‘s Actors on Actors. As they reconnected with the film, Cumberbatch opened up about the negative reaction he received in the media and online.

There was a lot of controversy around [his role as a nonbinary fashion model named All]understandably now. And I think in this era, my role would never be played by anyone other than a trans actor. But I remember at the time I didn’t necessarily think of it that way, and it was more about two dinosaurs, two heteronormative clichés that didn’t understand this new diverse world. But it flopped a bit. But it was wonderful meeting you in that brief moment and working with Ben. [Stiller] y owen [Wilson].


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