Graham Norton welcomes leading British actors, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston and American singer LeAnn Rimes to The Graham Norton Show on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 9pm on Tuesday, November 8.
Benedict, talking about Comic Con for Sherlock, Star Trek and his new film Doctor Strange, jokes: “When I get properly lazy I’ll just go there and sign pictures of my face!” adding: “It’s an amazing thing. I’ve been before and it is terrifying. They announce you like God is about to arrive and you come through all the smoke and lights and booming sound track and just say ‘hello’. You feel like a tiny speck in this massive arena.”
Asked about filming in Nepal for the new film and whether he was recognised, he says, “It was unbelievable. I was bearded and scraggly yet despite my appearance by the end of the first day there were 1000s of people surrounding us. It’s Sherlock – it’s incredible.”
Talking about his friendship with Judge Rinder, Benedict says:“I performed his marriage ceremony in Ibiza for him and his partner. I am sure it is legitimate!”
Asked about his friend’s performance in Strictly Come Dancing, he says: “He is extraordinary. I had no idea he could dance like that. To see a dear friend do something so unexpectedly brilliant like that fills me with pride. When it gets crucial, I’ll vote for him!”
Eddie, talking about attending Comic Con for the first time for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, says: “I’d heard from friends what the experience was, but I had no idea how big it would be and I was chronically nervous to the extent that I had Colin Farrell giving me a back rub and whispering sweet nothings into my ear trying to calm me down. You go on in front of thousands of people and you feel like a wannabe Justin Bieber!”
Asked if he is ready for worldwide recognition now he is entering the Harry Potter world, he says: “People say, ‘Are you prepped for it?’ But I’m not sure what that means. I had a weird moment on the tube today. I was sitting there and suddenly a flash goes off from the person opposite me. I looked up, they looked at me and I looked at them and then there was a really awkward 47 seconds as I waited for the next stop and dashed off.”
Talking about the film, he says: “I was so excited that it was set in New York. I called my wife and she was really excited too. Then I found out we were filming it in Watford! It was so much fun to make, but there was a scene where my character takes off his shirt so I spent seven months in the gym and the scene was cut!
“JK Rowling wrote early in the script that my character had a Buster Keaton-esque quality so I devised this walk having met a guy that tracks animals. The weird stance was fine until I had to do stunts and it gave me serious groin strain! When I saw the film you can barely tell he has an odd walk so that was a complete waste of time!”
Revealing his love of Paul Daniels, Eddie demonstrates his magic skills with the help of Benedict and Bryan with the deft use of a wand.
Asked why he hasn’t yet collected his OBE, he says: “I’ve been busy but I am getting it soon. I am desperate to go.” Joking with Benedict, who received a CBE in the same honours List, he adds: “I’m not angry, just disappointed!” Benedict interjects: “I can boss Eddie around now because I outrank him, but he does have an Oscar!”
The friendly rivalry continues as Benedict and Eddie chat about both playing screen versions of Stephen Hawking. Eddie says: “I had an horrific moment. I knew Benedict had done it, and so well, that I made the active choice of not watch his version because I knew I would thieve all the best bits. I went to visit Stephen for the first time and I remember the door was opened by this wonderful group of nurses whose opening line was, ‘We love Benedict!’”
Benedict, talking about hanging out with the theoretical physicist, says: “It is the most extraordinary experience. We were at the Royal Society for a discussion on the future of science and it was a long night so we decided to go for a drink. We got knee deep in Margaritas and it was at that drunken moment I thought I would tell him I playing Khan in Star Trek. Stephen was the only person I told. He liked the fact I had told him. It made him smile.”
Bryan, talking about fame, says: “I was at the Golden Globes and we had been told not to sign autographs on the red carpet because there were so many people, but there was suddenly a bottle neck ahead and everything stopped and two teenage girls started begging, ‘Please, please will you sign my book,’ they carried on so I agreed and as she handed me the book and as I am about to sign my name she says, ‘Who are you?’
“Fame changes you as a person, your personality changes. I don’t seek the attention but it comes and it’s a byproduct of what we do if you’re successful and I’m grateful for the opportunities that it creates but it is odd.”
Revealing he was once a murder suspect, Bryan says: “My brother and I were on a road trip and working in a restaurant where the chef was a horrible human being who hated everyone and everyone hated him and we would joke about ways of killing him. At the end of the season we took off again but what we didn’t know was that at the same time we left town the chef was murdered.
“We travelled for four months and when we came back our friends at the restaurant said, ‘Did the police catch up with you? The cops were looking for you because they came here and asked if anyone had worked here that had talked about killing the chef. They reluctantly pointed their fingers at the Cranston brothers!’”
LeAnn performs her new single The Story live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat. And finally, Graham pulls the lever on more foolhardy audience members brave enough to sit in the Red Chair.
Check out this fun moment from the show: