Benedict Cumberbatch Is a Humble Hero After Stopping a Robbery

The actor tells Ellen DeGeneres "no real heroics" played a part in his crime-stopping efforts

By Zach Johnson Sep 24, 2018 3:10 PMTags
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Ellen DeGeneres ShowMichael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Benedict Cumberbatch was typically modest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Monday.

Over the summer, Ellen DeGeneres read an interview in which the actor's Uber driver, Manual Dias, claimed Cumberbatch had secretly thwarted an attempted robbery last year, defending a Deliveroo employee. The host convinced Cumberbatch, who had not addressed the incident in interviews, to concede he "basically" saved the day. "I feel weird about this," the Avengers: Infinity War star said. "I haven't talked about this at home, because it became this huge furor."

So, then what did happen? Allow Cumberbatch to explain.

"I saw a bicycle delivery guy getting surrounded by some guys on a very cold November night, and I just stopped the Uber that we were in, got out and tried to calm the kids down; they were riled up. I tried to calm [the victim] down, because he looked like he was about to fight for his life. I didn't think really twice about knives or acid of any of the other things that can be part of that situation, so it was a bit foolhardy. But no real bravery, no heroics," the 42-year-old actor told DeGeneres, reiterating that he "literally just got in the way" and "tried to calm him down."

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Thinking on his feet, Cumberbatch "also tried to stop traffic, so that they could witness it if anything did happen." He had hoped doing so "might scare any violence out of the situation."

Admittedly, Dias' version of events made Cumberbatch uncomfortable. In his initial interview, the Uber driver said the actor shouted at the attackers and "seemed to know exactly what he was doing. He was very brave." Cumberbatch, however, wouldn't describe himself so valiantly. "This is where it gets embarrassing: He says he was in there and I was fighting and I jumped on someone," the actor said. "It's all been a bit exaggerated—so I feel a bit weird talking about it."

To credit, Cumberbatch said Dias "was very supportive that night."

Whether the incident raised or lowered Dias' Uber rating, however, remains a mystery.