There's no shame in it: If you're a fan of Tom Hiddleston or Benedict Cumberbatch, you've probably thought once or twice about what it would be like to date either of them. With their dashing good looks, intelligent demeanor, British accents, and — well, did I mention their faces? — it's difficult not to, especially if you've seen their work. But, once you accept this fact and begin to have the daydream romance to end all daydream romances, the question then becomes: Between Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston, who would actually make the better imaginary boyfriend?
I know there are a lot of very valid reasons that Tom Hiddleston would be a lovely boyfriend, and he seems like a great guy! But, I'm here to tell you why Cumberbatch would actually be the better candidate for the fake romance of your dreams — even though he's engaged. Hey, there's no harm in just thinking about it!
And, for the record, I mean I have more reasons than just that he's the most reblogged actor on Tumblr over even Hiddleston (though, to be fair, that's already a pretty good reason, because it means Cumberbatch is already #WINNING this race). Here are a few that I feel definitely prove my point of #TeamCumberbatchOrBust:
"Are you sure I can’t get you a warm coat? You look freezing. Honestly, it’s no trouble."
Benedict Cumberbatch is ridiculously, unfailingly polite. He remembers names, recalls previous meetings, asks questions, shows an interest, gives every enquiry deep consideration and, yes, will even attend to the needs of an under-dressed journalist.
That's only one example of how polite this guy is — and that's even with someone he doesn't know! Just imagine how graciously he'd treat the subject of his affections.
He enjoys following tradition
Cumberbatch made headlines this past year with his announcement of his engagement to longtime girlfriend Sophie Turner: Instead of releasing the news through his publicist or even keeping it hush-hush like other celebs tend to do, Cumberbatch did it in the most quiet, adorable, traditional way possible – with a tiny little newspaper announcement in the Times of London, which read, "Mr B.T. Cumberbatch and Miss S.I. Hunter - The engagement is announced between Benedict, son of Wanda and Timothy Cumberbatch of London, and Sophie, daughter of Katharine Hunter of Edinburgh and Charles Hunter of London."
Yep — that's it. His explanation for the understated announcement?
It’s what I would have done if I wasn’t famous. It’s a normal thing to do in my country...I wanted to have some control over the message. I don’t Tweet or do social media. It’s too impersonal. I would rather do what we did, and have people find it, and not see us from some s***ty, grainy footage staring lovingly into each others eyes with a ring on someone’s finger. I wanted it to be ours.
How sweet is this guy? Enjoys tradition, and he wanted the engagement announcement to be theirs. Seriously...*melts*.
He appreciates his fans and treats them with respect
This one is actually really important — like, the equivalent of dating a guy, and watching how he treats your friends: If it's anything less than with respect, it might be cause for red flags. Some celebs have a pretty bad history with mistreating fans because they seem to take their fame for granted, but not Benedict: He's never been anything less than appreciative and respectful of his fans (even if we can get a little insane, sometimes!), and I think that says a lot about how great of a character he has. Just look at this quote of him talking to Charlie Rose about his fans:
These are very intelligent, smart, driven, independent girls, mainly, but boys as well, and men and women – I do appeal to other generations I hope...It’s a thrill for me to bring these people to the kind of work that I have enjoyed doing, the stories I’ve been riveted by and that I think are important to tell.
He's a gentleman and totally gracious
Over the years, Cumberbatch has proven time and time again how much of a gracious, gentlemanly guy he naturally is — so many times, in fact, that's it's hard to even list them all off! But here's a recent quote from a Variety interview about his new film, The Imitation Game, which does a good job of displaying his graciousness. When the subject of family was broached, Cumberbatch had nothing but the most appreciative, selfless things to say about his loved ones:
They wanted me to be anything but. They afforded me a ridiculous education and all of their love; it was utterly selfless and self-sacrificing.
Another great indicator of a man's character? How he treats his family — and Benedict just passed that test with flying colors (of course). Plus, when Dame Judi Dench calls someone a gentleman, you know it's true: "I knew him when he was a little boy at prep school before he went on to Harrow...He is a true gentleman and a thoroughly good actor."
He knows what he's doing...intimately, if you know what I'm saying
I know he's talking about his character Sherlock Holmes here, but still, the ideas did come from him...actually, you know what? I'll just leave this quote here, from a recent interview he did with Elle UK :
And then I would be devastating. I’d know exactly how to please a woman, I’d know exactly where to put my fingers, where to put my tongue, where to put my – his I should say – his fingers, his tongue. Think about violinists, think about what they can do with their fingers...And I’d know exactly how to get that person into it, and get pleasure out of making that person feel pleasure to the point that I probably wouldn’t even have to enter [...]
But when I did it would be explosive.
He's not afraid of commitment
Considering he's actually engaged to his longtime girlfriend Sophie Hunter, I think it's pretty obvious that he's not afraid of commitment. And, like I said — there's no harm in imagining him as our pretend boyfriend regardless!
He doesn't understand why he's a sex symbol, and doesn't need the attention
Benedict might be aware that he's a sex symbol, but that doesn't mean he fully understands it — and, personally, I think that's great. It shows that, unlike some other celebrities, he doesn't feed off the attention from his female fans, and doesn't even feel like he needs it. Instead, he actually feels like it's all a bit strange, as he said in this interview with The Mirror :
Do I like being thought of as attractive? I don’t know anyone on Earth who doesn’t, but I do find it funny. I look in a mirror and I see all the faults I’ve lived with for 35 years and yet people go kind of nuts for certain things about me. It’s not me being humble. I just think it’s weird.
In other words, as your imaginary boyfriend, there's no need to worry about him seeking validation about his physical appearance from others.
He's protective towards those who are close to him
It's great to see a man who's fiercely protective of those who are close to him, and, sure enough, that perfectly describes Benedict: On not one, but two occasions over the years, he's come to his Atonement and The Imitation Game co-star Keira Knightley's defense — once even punching a journalist in the arm who had insulted her.
First, the punching incident — according to the journalist who claims he was the one punched, Mark Kermode, it actually happened years ago: "An actor very gently punched me on air for saying something about Keira Knightley. I called her IKEA Knightley as her acting was so wooden."
In an interview with Elle , Keira Knightly confirmed the incident: "When I saw him [Benedict] again, I said, 'Did you punch a journalist?' and he was like, 'I f***ing did.' Everybody needs a friend like that."
The next incident happened more recently, during the press tour for The Imitation Game: When a journalist told Knightley that she appeared "a little worn out" during a press conference, Cumberbatch immediately jumped to her defense:
That's not a nice thing to say to one of the most beautiful women on the planet!
Keira's right: Everybody does need a friend like that.
His idea of a great date is low key and fun
It's always the worst when a first date takes place at a super swanky place that involves a lot of prep beforehand (new dress, perfect hair, nails done, etc.) because you don't even know how the date is going to go, or if you're even going to like the guy. At least, that's my personal opinion — low-key dates are so the way to go. So, it's super relieving to see that Cumberbatch feels the same! In an interview, Benedict described his perfect date as relaxing and just fun:
What is your idea of an ideal date?
Fantastic meal, no washing up! Great conversation, time and enough laughter to get the digestion going.
Sounds totally laidback, which is perfect to really get to know somebody with no pressure surrounding the date. Also, when asked how he impresses a woman, he had this to say:
What do you do on a date to impress the woman?
Behave like a gentleman and make sure my date feels relaxed and happy.
What more can you ask for, really?
And, I mean...just look at him
Seriously. Need I say more?