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Benedict Cumberbatch: There’s no need for gay sex in film about Alan Turing

Nick Duffy October 8, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch has defended the lack of gay sex in his upcoming Alan Turing biopic.

The gay World War II codebreaker – often hailed as the grandfather of modern computing – was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 after having sex with a man, and was chemically castrated, barred from working for GCHQ, and eventually driven to suicide.

However, the upcoming biopic of Turing’s life, which stars Cumberbatch, has attracted criticism for focussing on his brief engagement to fellow codebreaker Joan Clarke, played by Kiera Knightly, instead of his romances with other men.

Cumberbatch told The Wrap: “You don’t see him having sex. It’s not an exploration of someone’s sex life.”

He added that the film attempted to make his sexuality known through dialogue, saying: “The fact [is mentioned] that he’s chemically castrated because he admits to being a homosexual – he talks about entreating a young man to touch his penis. I mean, it’s pretty explicit.

“If you need to see that to understand that he’s gay, then all is lost for any kind of subtle storytelling. It’s not something that needed to be made obvious.

“The conversations are so naked in themselves that the idea of having to see two naked men wasn’t something I ever thought was missing in the script.”

Turing’s biographer Andrew Hodges previously said he was “alarmed by the inaccuracies” in the film, adding: “They have built up the relationship with Joan much more than it actually was. Their relationship is invented.”

More: Alan Turing, benedict cumberbatch, Codebreaker, Gay, homosexual, pardon, Sherlock, The Imitation Game

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