Benedict Cumberbatch labels Martin Freeman 'pathetic' for Sherlock excuse

Benedict Cumberbatch has hit out at Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman.
Benedict Cumberbatch has hit out at Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman. Photo credit: AAP

Benedict Cumberbatch has hit out at Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman, saying his comments about a potential return for the show are "pathetic".

Freeman plays Watson in the BBC series, and in a March interview said the weight of fan expectations has killed the joy of playing the character.

Their relationship is said to be strained, with a show insider telling The Sun that while they're "professional" to one another, there's no warmth between them - and they allegedly spend no time together away from the show.

Freeman said that despite massive pressure to return to the show for a fifth season, he's not certain he will.

"Being in that show, it is a mini-Beatles thing," he explained at the time. "It's not a thing to be enjoyed. It's a thing of: 'You better f**king do this, otherwise, you're a c**t.' That's not fun anymore.

"There's a level of obsession where [the franchise] becomes theirs even though we're the ones making it."

This week, Cumberbatch ripped into Freeman's attitude in an interview with The Telegraph, calling his excuses "pathetic" in a stinging jibe.

"It's pretty pathetic if that's all it takes to let you not want to take a grip of your reality," he said.

"What, because of expectations? I don't know. I don't necessarily agree with that."

Freeman said despite massive pressure to return to the show for a fifth season, he's not certain he will. Andrew Scott, who plays Moriarty on the show, said new episodes are highly unlikely for a long time.

Both Cumberbatch and Freeman have been focusing on other projects since the end of Sherlock's fourth season. Cumberbatch reprises his role as Marvel's Doctor Strange in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film, while Freeman starred in Marvel's recent Black Panther.

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