It's interesting how people assume he is not a very physical actor just because he has played a good number of intellectuals. He is one of the most physical actors out there nowadays. It's most clear in the very early Hawking, Frankenstein and the BHS footage of The Hobbit movies but we can see it also in a subtle way in Sherlock, Parade's End and practically all his movies.
I remember a Spanish young critic comparing and describing acting styles saying Tom Hardy is a physical actor meanwhile BC is an intellectual one and I thought "no, Hardy is an actor who plays very macho kind of characters and BC tend to play intellectuals but the description of the characters has nothing to do with their acting styles!"
Also I remember at least two acting students raving about BC's talents as a physical actor on Twitter. One of them was amazed after he saw a recording of his creature in Frankenstein and the other was talking in general about him. It's always nice to read those but I guess it's clear how is always people who look for details the ones who go beyond the simple description of a character to judge something.
Everything you said in your post sgev is so true! He is a very physical actor as well as being a cerebral one as well - that's why I think he is the complete package!
The way he moves his body is like a trained dancer even in roles like Sherlock. When I saw him in Frankenstein at the cinema I was amazed at how physically active that role was and BC handled it with complete aplomb.
Great story about his audition for Frankenstein BTW!! Thanks for posting it!
"You're going into the water... short-arse!" - Sherlock
Benedict Cumberbatch makes a fleeting appearance, just before Sherlock made him a star, auditioning for Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein by improvising a scene where the monster is born. It was so realistic, Hytner longed to leave the room. “I had to stop myself saying ‘Stop, stop, we can see you can do it’,” he says, laughing. “But the impressive thing was that Benedict said, ‘Please can I audition?’ He knew he was going to be Sherlock when he decided to do a play at the National. That’s pretty smart.”