The ‘Power of the Dog’: Can Cumberbatch possibly kick dogs?

CNN (CNN) – The Washington Post described it as “one of the biggest twists of the year.” The reaction prompted several articles on Vanity Fair’s website and at Indiewire.net, the latter of which in…

The 'Power of the Dog': Can Cumberbatch possibly kick dogs?

CNN

(CNN) – The Washington Post described it as “one of the biggest twists of the year.” The reaction prompted several articles on Vanity Fair’s website and at Indiewire.net, the latter of which in turn prompted a similar story at the Los Angeles Times.

It was the announcement of Benedict Cumberbatch’s role in “The Power of the Dog,” the new film by Nick Hornby.

“But I’m saying I can’t bear him,” Cumberbatch told Vanity Fair. “I’ve never loved an animal so much in my life. I can’t even look at a puppy now without running out.”

But Cumberbatch went on to add that he wouldn’t hesitate to get a dog if he learned it didn’t kick.

CNN has talked to Cumberbatch about the film, as well as with producer Mark Fishner and co-writer Ed Stoppard about the concept and plot of “The Power of the Dog,” a subtle drama whose power actually may lie in letting off some steam.

The film, currently shooting in Los Angeles, is expected to have a theatrical release later this year in what’s sure to be a hot field of year-end contenders.

It’s been called “Truly Scathing,” a deep cut from Vanity Fair. But Cumberbatch sees it as “truthful.”

“We’re a nation which is gripped by this ridiculous anecdote,” Stoppard says in an interview on Indiewire. “Catching pheromones in blood? These people go mad. Tiredness is always elevated to a real newsworthy story.”

Cumberbatch has often spoken about getting emotional while playing certain characters in TV and film. The sting of intolerance likely drives this mood along, but perhaps he needs to know that we share his feeling, as we’ve heard his sentiments.

The film concerns an unnamed American high school teacher (Cumberbatch) who is the target of vicious bullying from his class.

The teacher confesses his overspill, which leads the school council into a power struggle and eventually to a tantalizing invitation from an entrepreneur to run his wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania.

For Cumberbatch, Hornby and Fishner this has been a labor of love and one they hope could inspire others to see the world from a different vantage point.

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