Benedict Cumberbatch was nearly a barrister

Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed he nearly became a barrister after his parents - Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton - initially tried to dissuade him from following in their footsteps into the acting industry.

Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch's parents tried to persuade him not to go into acting.

The 'Imitation Game' star - whose parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton, were both actors - has revealed his mother and father they were keen on him becoming a barrister.

He shared: "[Acting is] a very odd, peripatetic, crazed, out of your control work and social schedule. It's very hard to plan a family life, yet alone know where the next pay cheque is coming from so they worked very very hard as my parents, and actors, to afford me an education whereby I had the opportunity and the privilege to try and channel myself towards other goals.

"For a while, I wanted to be a barrister because there's definitely a crossover with criminal law - with trying to persuade an audience and a jury and a judge of the case and your client's story so I did go down that root for a little bit. I think they would have been very happy if I ended up there."

Despite being keen on becoming a criminal barrister, the 38-year-old actor - who is expecting a baby with his fiancée, Sophie Hunter - chose to follow his "primary dream" and went to Manchester University to study drama.

And after his father saw him in a play, he had some choice words from him, which secured his ambition to become an actor.

Speaking on late-night news show 'Tavis Smiley', he said: "Much to dad's amazing selflessness as a man, and I hope to echo that when my time comes to be a dad, he said to me in a car park after a play I'd done at Manchester University, when I was a student there, he said, 'You're better now than I was or ever will be,' which is a huge thing for a man to say to his son.

"He said, 'I think you're gonna have a great career and I can't wait to watch you and support you as you fly'. And I was like, 'My God'. And so, the primary motivation for me in my life is to make them proud."

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