Benedict Cumberbatch’s Engagment: An Oscar Award Ploy?

This morning my social media feed exploded with the revelatory news that Benedict Cumberbatch was engaged to Sophie Hunter and, for me, it’s rather interesting how social media, particularly female fans, have responded to the unexpected news.

This response is very similar to the way they responded to George Clooney’s engagement to the stunning international lawyer, Amal Alamuddin.

Photo of Cumberbatch and Hunter at the French Open

Two things have intrigued news readers: firstly, the method in which Cumberbatch chose in broadcasting the news and secondly, the question on everyone’s lips: who is Cumberbatch’s mystery woman?

The news was delivered in the most traditional and courteous manner.

In The Times today, it reads:

Cumberbatch's Engagement in The Times Newspaper
Cumberbatch’s Engagement in The Times Newspaper

A source said: ‘They wanted it announced in the customary way and we respected their desire to get the news out first.’

Unsurprisingly Sophie is gorgeous. Just look at her! Like Amal, she also comes nicely packaged with great credentials. They both graduated from Oxford and are fluent in French. Being an avid theatre fan, I’m also fascinated by Sophie as she’s an established opera and theatre director. Regretfully, I didn’t know about her work until today.

Sophie Hunter at a fancy French dinner Event earlier this year
Sophie Hunter at a fancy French dinner Event earlier this year

There is a lot to admire about Sophie. Allow me to list a few of her outstanding achievements: she co-founded the Lacuna Theatre company and is an associate director at the Broadhurst Theatre. She also directs internationally.

This includes her experimental play 69° South (2012), a New York production of the opera by Benjamin Britten, The Rape of Lucretia (2011), the African tour of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (2011), the Italian production of Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen and a Palestinian production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

I couldn’t be happier for Cumberbatch 38, and Hunter, 36, as they seem an excellent match, both being from the theatre and entertainment industry.

Cumberbatch’s earlier endeavour to conceal his relationship is also admirable. It was only until the beginning of the year they were confirmed as a couple, after they were pictured together at the French Open.

Further sources suggest that Cumberbatch flew over to Edinburgh early October to ask for Sophie’s mother’s approval. Yet the timeline of their relationship remains ambiguous as some report that they first met in 2009.

Sultry photograph of Cumberbatch for Time Out Magazine this year

Cumberbatch’s career is also going from strength to strength. Critically acclaimed acts include Sherlock (2010), Frankenstein (2011), and numerous baddies for such films including Atonement (2007) and The Hobbit film series.

Theatreland is looking forward to his big stage role as Hamlet at the Barbican next year; yet his newest role in the Imitation Games (to be released in November 14th) has caused some media PRs to suspect whether the proposal was a deliberate attempt to enhance his profile in receiving an Oscar for ‘Best Actor’.

It sounds rather out of character of Cumberbatch to do such a deed, which he actively says he won’t be campaigning for; yet we have seen such covert behavior with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for their films Fury and Unbroken this year.

I just hope the rumours are not true. For Ms Hunter’s sake anyway.

Written by Mary Grace Nguyen (Chief – Editor of Flock To The Crown) Read her blog for more extensive review , her LDNCard blog and follow her on Twitter

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