Benedict Cumberbatch Reveals The Secret Behind His 'Grace And Ease'

“Stillness is an essential part of acting.”

One of the best devices in Sherlock Holmes' toolkit is his incredible mind. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who brought Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved detective to life in the BBC series "Sherlock," can often be seen on the show quietly thinking to himself.  

It turns out, in real life, Cumberbatch is well aware of the benefits of retreating into the mind. In an interview with the Buddhist magazine Lion's Roar, the actor described himself as a Buddhist, "philosophically." 

“I’d always been fascinated by the idea of meditation and what it meant,” Cumberbatch told the magazine.

The actor has spoken before about how he uses meditation to "get away from the crazy circus of it all, have a focused mind as well as be a kinder, considerate person in the world."

Right after high school, he reportedly saved up money to spend a gap year teaching English to monks in a Tibetan monastery in India. Although, he was given food and lodging, he said he had to learn to live "by very limited means."

He told Lion's Roar that meditation has had an impact on his acting, too.

"When you’ve been that still and contemplative, your sensory awareness is heightened and more sharply focused," he said. "Stillness is an essential part of acting." 

He continued, “Sometimes as an actor you’re looking for the infinite. If you can hold that, if you can remember that in the chaos, it will anchor you and give you grace and ease.”

For the full interview, check out the May issue of Lion's Roar.