Back in 2016, Benedict Cumberbatch was at the very height of his powers. Having played everyone from Smaug in The Hobbit to Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, he’d already earned a reputation as one of the UK’s most versatile actors. Here, we revisit the moment the actor joined one-time Pink Floyd guitarist and singer David Gilmour for a performance of ‘Comfortably Numb’ live at the Royal Albert Hall.
The performance was part of Gilmour’s tour in support of his 2015 album Rattle The Lock, which saw the musician perform five shows from the iconic London venue, The Royal Albert Hall. At that time, Cumberbatch was promoting his then-forthcoming Marvel film Dr. Strange. Taking to the stage, the actor sang The Wall single with the dramatic accentuation of an individual who has spent a good deal of time reciting Shakespearian dialogue.
Recalling the performance during his appearance on the US breakfast show Good Morning America, he revealed that he used to be “utterly, utterly terrified” of singing in public. “I imply, that is a really form of, talky singing quantity. It isn’t a real test, not like singing an Adele song. However, to stand on that stage that close to David Gilmour and watch him make that guitar sing, and his voice just will get richer and richer with time, no matter how excessive it goes, it is just superb. I thought I would regret not doing it more than I would regret doing it, though it makes me cringe a bit to watch it, but it surely was unbelievable.”
Gilmour isn’t the only artist Cumberbatch has had the good fortune of performing alongside. In 2013, he recorded a song called ‘Can’t Keep It Inside’ for the August: Osage County soundtrack, which appeared next to tracks from Bon Iver, Kings of Leon and Eric Clapton. Cumberbatch departed the stage with the line: “That’ll keep you going through the show
/ Come on it’s time to go,” leaving Gilmour to deliver one of the most iconic guitar solos of all time.
Make sure you check out the full clip below.