The Radiohead song that Benedict Cumberbatch says “touches my soul”

Music is an integral part of Benedict Cumberbatch’s life and offers him an escape from an intense filming project he’s working on — even if it’s only for the length of a song. With a vast and eclectic taste, there is not one single act that Cumberbatch prefers to listen to, but he has previously explained that one song by Radiohead “touches my soul”.

During a 2017 interview with the German publication TZ, Cumberbatch gave an insight into his life outside of acting, once which reveals who he is beneath the mask. Switching off is essential for the actor, and music is his tool to do this. After being asked if he likes to play sports, the Sherlock star responded, “I like hiking in nature or walking through a park to clear my brain. Music helps me.” On several occasions, Cumberbatch has spoken at length about music being a vice. His tastes are far and wide, but considering he grew up during the Britpop era, it’s understandable that Blur is a band he loves, and for him, he prefered them to Oasis amid the high-profile rivalry. Additionally, the actor surprisingly admitted he had a techno phase throughout his time at University.

One song that is a favourite of Cumberbatch’s is ‘Burn The Witch’ by Radiohead, a track featured on the group’s 2016 album, Moon Shaped Pool. He told TZ: “Most of all I like songs getting me to think because they cover everything that goes wrong in this world. Just like Radiohead’s ‘Burn the Witch’. That song touches my soul.”

Although they are one of his favourite bands, unfortunately, Cumberbatch recalled his first encounter with Radiohead, which left him red-faced. Speaking to NME, he said: “[Radiohead producer] Nigel Godrich and Edgar Wright came to see me in Hamlet…they came backstage afterwards and we had a nice, long chat. I said to Nigel: ‘I’m a massive Radiohead fan, I don’t suppose any of the boys would want to come and see some Shakespeare?’ So Jonny and Thom came one night and afterwards we talked backstage”.

Cumberbatch was pleased that the Radiohead duo were willing to accept his offer and come to see him, but it didn’t go to plan. He explained: “I was really nervous because it hadn’t been a great performance, so I was looking at the ground all embarrassed”.

The actor also ruled out the possibility of appearing in a biopic about Radiohead, which he said would make for a “weird film”. Although Cumberbatch did admit there are some musicians who he would like to play on the screen, he added: “There are some rock stars I’d like to play…But I don’t think it’ll happen and I’m not going to say who. You’ll have to guess.”

Even the most loyal Radiohead fan would admit their story doesn’t need to be made into a biopic, and it wouldn’t be on-brand for the band. Instead, they let emotionally rich songs like the soul-stirring ‘Burn The Witch’ do the talking on their behalf.

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