Benedict Cumberbatch has said he has probably “cried on the toilet” while getting into character for a role, but that he tries to avoid taking work home with him.
The TV, film and stage actor, 41, has also revealed that he likes to write but does not show it to anybody, and that he thinks his efforts are “pretty poor”.
Cumberbatch was interviewed by his friend, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, for Interview magazine.
Asked by Yorke if he rehearses “laughing or crying” for roles, Cumberbatch said: “I probably have cried on the toilet.”
Referring to his two young sons with wife Sophie Hunter, he added: “I try not to, though, because I have people in my house who would be disturbed by their dad having such a strange, isolated mood swing.
“I think it’s important to be able to do some of that in some kind of enclosed space.
“It’s about finding triggers and trying very hard to find that within your characters and their backstories, and not within your life, because that can get out of control.”
However, the Sherlock star said he does not like to bring his work home with him.
“When I walk through that door, it’s about home,” he said.
“If I didn’t do that, I’d become consumed by one thing only and damage the people who love me. And it would damage the work.”
Cumberbatch revealed that he does like to write, but that it is a private activity and that he sometimes writes in “really awful” French.
Yorke asked: “Do you write? I’ve got a feeling you write, but don’t show it to anyone.”
The actor replied: “You’re absolutely right. But I don’t think I could form my writing into scripts or novels.
“It’s so sporadic.”
The Oscar-nominated star added: “My writing’s pretty poor. I often think, ‘Who’s this for?’.
“Sometimes it’s impressions of the day or my life, or it’s fiction. Sometimes it’s about things I want to remember, or I try to write in really awful French.”
Cumberbatch is currently filming TV series Melrose, a period drama based on Edward St Aubyn’s acclaimed series of semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels.
As well as starring in the titular role, Cumberbatch will serve as the executive producer.
Known for his stage roles, including as Hamlet and in Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, Cumberbatch has hinted at a return to the stage in the near future.
Asked about treading the boards by Yorke, he said: “There are plans afoot in the not-too-distant future, but not this year.”