Benedict Cumberbatch thinks you need to know about the real story behind Alan Turing in his new Oscar-buzzed movie The Imitation Game.

When hasn’t Benedict Cumberbatch given a great performance? In his new movie, The Imitation Game, which premiered at The Toronto International Film festival he is as brilliant as ever playing British gay mathematician and computer pioneer, Alan Turing.

Not much is known about the real Alan Turing and it wasn’t until recently that the top-secret government files on him—and how he broke the once “unbreakable” German Unicode during WWII—that helped win the war—have been released.

“He’s not as prominent as he should be,” Cumberbatch told The Daily Beast. That’s the tragedy isn’t it, really? You have a guy whose life he cut off at 41.”

Turing’s contribution to history was conveniently ignored when he was arrested for being a homosexual, something that was illegal in the United Kingdom at the time. As a result, he was given the option of two years in jail or to undergo chemical castration. Turing opted for the latter, but the grief and hate that came with being a public homosexual at a time when it was wildly considered disgusting and immoral took its toll on the man and he committed suicide at age 41. “It’s disgusting. It gets me very, very angry,” Cumberbatch continued.


The Imitation Game movie follows Turing from his unhappy youth to the high intensity days when he and his group of code breakers worked for Britain’s top secret Government Code and Cypher School to his accidental reveal as a homosexual, which eventually led to his untimely death. It is widely believed that Turnig died by taking cyanide, but conspiracy theories around his death remain.

“With all of the secretiveness, of course there’s potential for a conspiracy theory, because MI6 thought he might be dangerous, but I think that’s pooey,” Cumberbatch said to The Daily Beast. “ His suicide note is framed to make it look like an accident. His coroner’s report said that it was a solution of cyanide and water, and then there was a bite of the apple. I think he made it look like it could potentially be an accident so his mother wasn’t disgraced by the idea that her son committed suicide. She was already in denial about his sexuality.”

It wasn’t until just recently that Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turing of his “crime” of being a homosexual, but Cumberbatch is enraged by the fact that homophobia continues to run rampant in today’s society. “There are courses and doctors and meds handed out to “cure” people of their homosexuality, and it’s shocking that it still goes on,” Cumberbatch said. “It’s also shocking that any time there’s any kind of hardship, the minorities are immediately scapegoated.”


The Imitation Game also stars Keira Knightly, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong and opens in theaters on November 21.





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