Benedict Cumberbatch: Some People Believe My Wife and Son Are a ‘P.R. Stunt’

10/04/2016 at 04:45 PM ET

Benedict Cumberbatch
Dave Benett/Getty

Of all the roles Benedict Cumberbatch has taken on, “Dad” might be his best one yet.

The actor, 40, opened up to Vanity Fair about his life as a newlywed to Sophie Hunter and new dad to his 16-month-old son Christopher “Kit” Carlton. In the November issue, Cumberbatch talks about what it’s like to have a family of his own.

“Having a baby — it’s massive,” he says. “And on a very unexpected level. Suddenly I understood my parents much more profoundly than I ever had before.”

Cumberbatch also talks about how welcoming Kit allowed him to better prepare for his role as Hamlet at London’s Barbican Centre.

“I was expecting, with Hamlet, that it might be a hindrance to be a father, because it’s all about being a son,” he says. “But it’s the opposite. You understand much more about being a son, becoming a father.”

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

Cumberbatch and Hunter, 38, met nearly 20 years ago, but didn’t immediately start dating. They eventually married on Valentine’s Day last year, and welcomed Kit just four months later in June. The award-winning actor says a lot of conspiracy theorists believe his new family is all for show.

“There are people who believe that my wife is a P.R. stunt and my child is a P.R. stunt,” he says. “I think really it’s to do with the idea that the ‘Internet’s boyfriend’ can’t actually belong to anyone else but the Internet. It’s impossible he belongs to anyone but me. And that’s what stalking is. That’s what obsessive, deluded, really scary behavior is.”

Benedict Cumberbatch
Jason Bell exclusively for Vanity Fair

Tilda Swinton, who costars with Cumberbatch in the upcoming film Doctor Strange, spoke about the new dad and husband with admiration.

“My fondest impression of him is as a new husband besotted by his girl, and a new father enchanted by his boy,” she says.

“I think he knows that he wants — and has — a life first and foremost, that his life suits and nourishes him and that it makes the world go round.”

— Blake Bakkila

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Sorry to Disappoint on

Benedict Cumberbatch is not the first celebrity people have accused of pulling PR stunts to further/save his/her career. To attribute the pubic’s reaction to some of his life choices as “stalker behaviour” is actually quite arrogant. Not everyone on the internet is “in love” with you Mr. Cumberbatch.

SB on

Where there’s smoke…. Cough cough . Showmance it is. He’s really sounding more and more like an arrogant twat who is taking whatever is left of his fans for total imbeciles.

True on

To the previews comment. I’ve never seen anyone else being treated like him.
Those people are spreading the BS as if he is raising someone else’s kid and how do you think that is normal? He should say something about this idiocy.

Alex on

I really can’t understand that way of thinking. Benedict is a wonderful human being and deserves all the best. True admires of his career should be happy for him, finally having a beautiful wife and a lovely baby.

samarfouad on

I admired Benedict Cumberbatch since i watched sherlock and imitation game he’s a massive talent and in real life a very kind person and considerate to unfortunate human beings he submits himself to english public anger after he spoke about the refugee’s crises and the slow response from his government i don’t believe that’ such a good person can deceive every one for PR

Ksenia on

Benedict, just as you don’t appreciate being painted with the same broad brush, guess what fans don’t like it either. You don’t make an issue go away by constantly bringing it up.

Jen on

No worries, Benedict, if by some chance you are reading this. Not ALL fans believe that crap. You are a person just like the rest of us with who wants a lot of the same things we do…like getting married and having children. The only difference is you live in the public eye due to your career. I admit, being a fan, I like to keep up on what you’re doing by checking the news. So here I am. 🙂 So some of the negativity I see posted against you, even by so called fans, is just baffling. You seem to be a very sweet, humble guy. But you like your privacy and would like people to respect the boundaries you have set for yourself to keep you sane in all the chaos that this is currently your life. You’re smart to do that for yourself and your family. You put family first and are trying to create some work/life balance. I applaud you for that. Don’t let those who want to call you arrogant and entitled get to you either. I understand you can’t be every place at once, and you need to stand up for what is right. I suspect, like me, you’re a bit of an introvert, who needs to recharge your batteries between social events. Where extroverts get their energy from social events. One of the myths about introverts is that they are arrogant. I’ve been misjudged on that front many times…so I know that isn’t true. But once people get to know an introvert, they realize what nice people we really are. So hang in there and focus on the positive. There are still a lot of true fans out there who support you, your family, and your career…and see beyond the BS.