Benedict Cumberbatch Got Nicotine Poisoning Three Times

“When you have to smoke a lot, it genuinely is horrible.”

Benedict Cumberbatch has a new movie out soon, The Power of the Dog. It’s directed by Jane Campion, who did classics like The Piano and In the Cut — and it has serious Oscar buzz.

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In a recent interview with Esquire, the actor revealed that he was so committed to his role that he literally made himself sick. Really.

You see, the movie is based on a book by Thomas Savage, where Cumberbatch’s character — rancher Phil Burbank — is described as always with a cigarette. So Cumberbatch ended up smoking a lot of cigarettes, which didn’t make him feel so great.

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“That was really hard. Filterless rollies, just take after take after take,” he said, noting that he got nicotine poisoning three times during filming. “When you have to smoke a lot, it genuinely is horrible.”

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That’s not all, though. Apparently Cumberbatch really wanted to live in the role — so he basically gave up regular bathing.

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“I wanted that layer of stink on me,” he explains. “I wanted people in the room to know what I smelt like. It was hard, though. It wasn’t just in rehearsals. I was going out to eat and meet friends of Jane and stuff.”

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Well, we’ll just have the pleasure of watching him act — not smelling him — when The Power of the Dog hits Netflix on December 1 (it’s coming to theaters for a bit later this month too.)

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