“In my life I’ve been so touched by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh,” says Benedict Cumberbatch.
“In my life I’ve been so touched by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, it was a great honor to work on Walk With Me,” said Cumberbatch, who identifies as a Buddhist — “at least philosophically” — and appeared on the cover of the May issue of Lion’s Roar. “I have no doubt that audiences across the world will be moved by this beautifully crafted film observing the daily life of the monks and nuns who have committed their lives to the art of mindfulness.”
The documentary, produced and directed by Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh, is expected to come out later this year. It will pair shots of monastic life with Cumberbatch reading from Thich Nhat Hanh’s journals.
Said the filmmakers, “We have worked to create an immersive film to plunge the audience deep into the poetry of the present moment… We are also delighted that Benedict Cumberbatch became involved in the film — his narration adds so much depth to the atmosphere and reflective tone of the film.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, who is currently recovering from a stroke, is one of the most influential Buddhist teachers alive. Many prominent figures claim to have been influenced by his teachings, including U.N.C.C.C executive secretary Christiana Figueres, late comedian Garry Shandling, and the Oscar-winning Birdman and The Revenant director, Alejandro Iñárritu.
In the March 2016 issue of Lion’s Roar, Cumberbatch explains how he came to know about Buddhism, and how meditation informs his acting. “When you’ve been that still and contemplative, your sensory awareness is heightened and more sharply focused,” said the actor. “Stillness is an essential part of acting.”