Benedict Cumberbatch Did The Most Pointless Nudity Onstage

Benedict Cumberbatch Did The Most Pointless Nudity Onstage

First off, for everyone who clicked here specifically to see pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch nude: Sorry, we are not including any. We might provide you with enough info that you'll now know to find them yourself, however.

We're here to talk about Frankenstein, the 2011 stage adaptation of the classic Mary Shelley novel, directed by Danny Boyle and written by Nick Dear. Benedict Cumberbatch starred as the title character, and when playing the creature first being born, he writhed onstage naked.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," cry observant readers, zeroing in on the most significant part of that sentence. "Did you just call the creature in Frankenstein the title character? 'Frankenstein' was the name of the doctor, not the monster!" Good, we're glad you were paying attention. 

The conceit of this particular production was that Cumberbatch played both the doctor and the creature—on alternating nights. When he played the doctor, his costar Jonny Lee Miller took on the far more interesting part of the creature, and when he played the creature, Jonny Lee Miller was Victor Frankenstein. The creature's birth is the opening scene, and for the first several minutes of the play, Dr. Frankenstein isn't there at all. If you were lucky enough to arrive on a night when Cumberbatch got the creature role, you got to see him thrash about confused, gradually learn to speak, and finally put on some pants. 

Frankenstein the play later streamed online, but in this version, the creature wears a loincloth. This alternative staging of the scene works just fine, raising the possibility that the original full-frontal nudity was not entirely necessary. We at Cracked are all for tasteful nudity, but it seems like seeing Benedict's fully exposed Cumberbatch might distract audiences rather than immerse them, given that sources tell us it is retractable, armored, and green. 

Incidentally, speaking of title roles, Cumberbatch played Sherlock Holmes on BBC's Sherlock the same time as Jonny Lee Miller played the character on CBS's Elementary. We suppose the chance to see two Sherlocks meet would be enough to justify all manner of nudity in some fans' eyes. 

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