Benedict Cumberbatch: There is no heterosexuality in Alan Turing biopic
Benedict Cumberbatch has rejected criticism of his upcoming Alan Turing biopic, claiming there is “no heterosexuality” in the film.
Gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing – 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 Imitation Game, an upcoming biopic of Turing’s life which stars Benedict 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 NME: “His sexuality is something contained that is expressed in the film but not shown explicitly. There is no heterosexuality expressed in the film.
“So what we show in his behaviour is sadly true to his story. He had to suppress his sexuality, make it private, make it something secret.
“When he talks about his sexuality in the film it shows his complete honesty, guilelessness, innocence.
“He was aware of the risks but at the same time wasn’t willing to cave in to the intolerance and potential permutations of confessing such a thing.
“Some people own him as martyr or as standard-bearer for a cause. I think he was just very true to himself, which is a form of martyrdom, but he didn’t make a political statement out of it.”
The Sherlock star previously claimed there was no need for gay sex in the film, saying: “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.”
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.”