In preparation for the 2013 Academy Awards telecast, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences ("a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures - Wikipedia) created a gallery of actors who would be presenting Oscars during the telecast. Benedict Cumberbatch would be paired with Jennifer Garner during the program, and, earlier that evening, showed his prowess at making the most of his time on-camera for fun by photobombing U2 on the red carpet.
Curiously enough, the whimsy and welling up we saw on display that night (witness his reaction during the acceptance speech of 12 Years A Slave co-star and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o as Best Supporting Actress), may be all some Americans know about him, until they looked at the Oscars' online gallery of photographs and quotes.
Benedict's quote offers insight into what moves and motivates the actor - at least to my mind, because it connects his love of art, language, the human spirit - and performing. Given the characters he's chosen to play and the causes he chooses to promote, it seems no coincidence that his favorite hero in film - unlike, say, Kristen Bell's choice of Ace Ventura (for his care of animals) - was someone quite real, quite remarkable and quietly fighting to LIVE, despite circumstances beyond his control.