Benedict Cumberbatch gives update on housing Ukrainian refugees

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Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about welcoming Ukrainian refugees into his home and being able to “give them some stability after the turmoil that they’ve experienced”.

The 45-year-old has signed up for the Homes For Ukraine scheme, but said the family have not yet moved in and he is “monitoring their progress every day”.

Speaking at a London photocall for his new film, Marvel’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, he said: “They’ve made it out of Ukraine (the family), but I’m monitoring their progress every day.

“Sadly they’re undergoing some medical treatment at the moment – to say anything more about that would be an invasion of their privacy, and too much about when they’re coming and how that’s being managed would invade mine.

“But I want to give them some stability after the turmoil that they’ve experienced, and that’s within my home.

“And then, from outside, I’ve been trying to help other Ukrainian families and nationals that are UK citizens, to house their extended families en masse, which … is very costly.

“So I’ve been trying to help out with that financially in a couple of instances and working through a wonderful charity called Refugees At Home, which is a great gateway to the Government scheme, but also to offering further and wider support that’s needed for the psychological trauma that these people are suffering from, that they are coming into our homes with and that we’ll need further help with.

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness photo call
(L to R) Benedict Wong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen and director Sam Raimi at the Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness photocall in London’s Trafalgar Square (Ian West/PA)

“However gentle and generous and welcoming we are as hosts, we don’t have the skills of the mental health profession to necessarily deal with those.

“I would urge people to seek out further help to bolster their efforts and people are doing an amazing amount.

“It makes me very proud of our country and very proud of what we can be at our best as a human race.”

The forthcoming film, directed by Sam Raimi, sees Oscar-nominated Cumberbatch reprise his role as neurosurgeon Dr Stephen Strange, alongside a cast which features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams.

Olsen, who reprises her role as Avenger Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch, spoke about the return of films to cinemas.

She said: “It’s not even just about how it looks or how it sounds, but it’s the community aspect, that also is what makes these films special, and nothing makes me feel happier than being at a cinema.

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness photo call
Elizabeth Olsen said nothing makes her happier than being at a cinema (Ian West/PA)

“I didn’t even realise how much I missed it until I got it back again. And that’s how I got to see The Power Of The Dog (which saw her co-star Cumberbatch nominated for an Oscar) and so it’s not just Marvel films that need to be seen on screen.

“It’s just important to keep the theatres functioning and working, and I’m proud to be part of a film that hopefully can bring some opportunity there.”

– Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is out in UK cinemas on May 5.

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