It’s the 19th of July. What could you possibly expect from this round of writing?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BENEDICT!!!!
I’m writing this to you and you only. I know that some other people will read this and they are free to consider this as aimed at themselves as well, but this is for you. Because you are the man behind so many things happening in my life right now, I will probably earn half of what I’ll get in the future thanks to you as well.
Am I allowed to tell my little story? Do you have the time? It won’t take long. Hopefully.
I started watching Sherlock out of curiosity and it has become my obsession. Put it on the writing? Of course, that had a lot to do with it. The directing? Brilliant. McGuigan is next to Chris Nolan in my book. The music? Bless Michael Price and Mr. Arnold. The acting? Thank you, God.
Do you have any idea how much a movie can change a person? Can you imagine staying up past midnight to do research on a poet, just because you recited Casabianca in Tinker Tailor? Or reading your eyes out on Stephen Hawking’s books. I’ve been hunting your Sherlock coat for months now. Yes, hunting is the correct word. Obsession, though, I hope not. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. But dreams create reality, so in the end we need obsessions as much as we need air.
I found you. The internet is such a broad play-ground. If you look in the right corner, you will find life-long friends. I’ve never met you, though I would love to, and I dare not say that I know you. But, in some ways, perhaps, you helped us know more about the world. And ourselves.
If it weren’t for your Sherlock, perhaps this blog wouldn’t have existed and Neverwhere would have stayed dusted up on the shelf of a bookstore, next to Parade’s End and Twelve Years a Slave. If it weren’t for the way you stepped on furniture and laughed at everybody in the Conan Doyle universe, Star Trek would have been just a blockbuster that came and went. If it weren’t for the dialogues and the way you mastered every muscle on your face and hands during your phone call, your death scene, your revival…. Well, that would have spared me some buckets of tears, but there you are. Nobody’s perfect…………………….. And an internet pic will come and disagree with me, the same way I’m disagreeing with myself…………..
Ben, it’s a special thing to turn 37. I don’t know from experience, but the concept of age is finally reaching up with me. I know you have so many things you want to do and all I can say is I can’t wait to see and hear and admire every single one of them. Would you believe an invisible voice telling you that she is nervous? I’m trying to convince myself that you will read this. Perhaps, one day, I’ll send you this link and you’ll laugh that at the time you didn’t have the Oscars you do. In 20 years, you will have them. That and more. You will have a family. You will play a lightsaber in Star Wars and maybe even do an audiobook after Varjak Paw.
People love you, Ben. They look up to you, they admire you. You manage to make even the smallest characters stand out. You create a story, a background, a history just by the way you look and move and smile and talk. You don’t even need the words, your eyes tell us everything. Guillam, Frankenstein, James, Sherlock, Major Steward, Julian, all the people you portrayed during your long theater career, they stay with us. They live with us. Because of you.
You are brilliant, you are beautiful and you are still so tied to the world of us, mere mortals. You read the fanfiction, the good and the bad, you received our drawings and letters, you mention us, you remember us. You are honest in interviews, as far as that is possible, you are cute, you know how to play with the crowd, you know how to sing, good Lord! I’m melting my brain every day with Islington’s song.
I’ve listened to the radio version of Neverwhere. Angels are fascinating, but fallen angels are a director’s dream. I listened and imagined it and the world that Neil Gaiman created burst into life from the second Door and Richard fell inside your halls. It’s a different vision. It’s darker and far more complicated than the one in the book, but I think that it has a chance. In 7 years, when I will have finished film school, would you be willing to play Islington in my movie? There is no man I can possibly see playing him instead of you. It has to be you. Please.
You’ve brought so much light to my life, so many friends and so many new opportunities. You gave me ideas. I have three new scripts in the making. What you do is brilliant on so many levels. I owe you a lot, Ben. I owe you so much.
Happy Birthday, Benedict! I hope that one day, I’ll be able to say these words to you in person.