The enforced delay has been put to good use with the director making substantial changes to the original movie, swapping out the film’s musical score, cutting its run time and adding new scenes.
“What I love about period pieces is that they can teach us about any current or topical story,” says Cumberbatch.
“This is a story that deals with men over a hundred years ago but the themes are to do with loss of integrity, the corruption of fame, manipulating the media, using falsehoods to create scapegoats and to fearmonger and influence opinion – sadly all traits we’re seeing only too readily in this current cycle of our history.
“I think like a lot of people history has a lot to offer us if we just listen to it and try and do what Thomas Edison couldn’t.
“As a profoundly deaf man, he chose not to hear a repeated truth – that we’re better working together – something he couldn’t afford to acknowledge because he was so far down the road and how that corrupted him and cost him.
“The film’s about these amazing men, this massive miscommunication, and egos. It resulted in the missed opportunity of collaboration unlike any other.
“You have these three men all going for an understanding or control of the electricity.
“In Silicon Valley with the Musks, the Gates, the Jobs and Zuckerbergs, there are definitely parallels in the struggle for authority over certain quests for pioneering thought and enterprise.
“I learned that Edison was a humorous, loving caring man who became obsessed with a need to succeed that was all-consuming and that cost him both publicly and privately with the neglect of his family, one of whom, his first wife Anne, dies.
“He repeated his mistakes to some extent in his second marriage but you can’t help but love someone you play or have at least a great deal of empathy for.
“By understanding someone you learn to feel for them.
“I’d love to go back and ask him, ‘Would you do it differently? Would you try to see the strength in working together while still maintaining your reputation?’.
“He played dirty and lost his way because he was so personally tied in with it and his ego and fame clouded his integrity.”
Once again, there’s nothing new in this new interview, but it was great to read anyway! I love that he talks about his comedy roles, including Cabin Pressure, and they also mention his recording of Can’t Keep it Inside from August Osage County. It’s a very nice little summary of his career!
Nice words by Gómez-Rejón. Also, it seems Weisntein didn't want anyone to "dislike" BC!
Adding new scenes that clarified Mary’s illness allows you to understand Edison’s reaction to the loss and how she centered him and why he’s going to spin out of control and how it motivated him to keep her alive through early recordings of her voice, and by other means that should be left a surprise in the film. He was always trying to defy nature and win. You understand his ambition, but the film now humanizes him because you understand how lost he is without that one person he’s trying to keep alive. One of the problems with the early cut was that the studio didn’t want anyone to dislike Benedict Cumberbatch. I thought that was a huge mistake, that it neutered the movie if we just have two nice men going after each other. It’s okay if you see the dark side of Edison, as long as you understand where it comes from. It’s now a beautiful, complicated, dark, multi layered performance by Benedict. I’m proud of all the performances but what he’s able to do, and by me embracing the footage that I knew I had of him being a darker character, and that emotional connection to his wife even as she becomes this ghost by his side, watching him. It becomes so much richer.