When Matthew Goode, who stars as Benedict Cumberbatch’s dapper rival in The Imitation Game, suggests that we get an 11 A.M. drink at The Egg Shop on New York’s Lower East Side, I’m impressed. Rarely, if ever, do the guys we feature in this column select the establishment. And a pre-noon cocktail hour? Also noteworthy.

And rarer yet is the subject who, upon your arrival, is found hunched over a plate of sunny side ups at the bar. If it weren’t for the shockingly blue eyes peeking out from behind a pair of smart lenses, I might have easily mistaken him for a handsome regular. And no wonder: Not only does Goode live nearby with his family—actress Sophie Dymoke and daughters Matilda, 5, and Teddy, 14 months—the establishment’s proprietor also introduced the actor to his wife. So, aside from a pub in Hampstead where he likes to hole up with famous buds ranging from Benedict Cumberbatch to Dominic West, this is about as close to home turf as one can get.

Toward the end of the drink, our mouths newly aflame from the homemade hot sauce in our early bird beverages, I ask him what the deal is with British guys being noticeably standoffish in social settings, anyway. He pauses a moment to think and then narrows his eyes, which have started to pick up flecks of the early winter sun flooding in through the tiny shop’s glass doors. “What British women have figured out is that we lower our standards when we’re drunk,” he says. “So some women just go, ‘Oh. He’s mine!’ And we just go, ‘Okay!'” I hold myself back, but everything in my being is going, He’sminehe’sminehe’sminehe’smine.

Do you usually drink cocktails at 11 A.M.?

Oh yeah. It depends on the job! No, normally only on holiday. That’s the one great thing about summer holiday with kids: It’s one of the only times of the year when you can just go to the fridge after breakfast, crack open a beer, and no one looks at you weird…

Whenever I babysit, I do much better if I’ve had a glass of wine.

You drink so you can get on their level. [Laughs] They’re just little drunk people!

One thing I noticed during The Imitation Game—aside from your eyes, which look like they’re blue all the way through…

They’re kind of parrot-like, my eyes. Sometimes they look really green, and sometimes they’re blue. I think it’s a mood thing. It’s strange, isn’t it? I think Benedict’s do that, too. Even more so.

Does everyone ask you about working with him?

They have since we’ve started the press for this, but it’s actually a nice thing to talk about because I’ve known Benedict for 15 years. And I’ve always loved him. He hasn’t changed, but when he broke out, suddenly there were a thousand people screaming…


What is it about him?

I think he’s just really talented. I think it’s the talent. We’ll wait and see—I mean, I don’t want to put too much pressure on him.

I mean, he’s definitely going to be nominated for an Oscar…

I’d be shocked if he wasn’t. I think he has every chance of being the [Laurence] Olivier of our times. He is such a confident performer in theater, too. He can sell out Hamlet faster than anyone else in history.

Now that you mention it, you can kind of tell you are fond of one another in the movie. Do you guys have an antagonistic relationship?

We used to see each other a lot more before he got really big time—and engaged, which is very recent. I can’t wait to go back home and hang out in Hampstead and sit in the corner of a pub with him, but [fame] makes it harder and harder these days. So it kind of just ends up being other peoples’ houses…


During a time like this, when you’re doing tons of press for the same project, do you get sick of talking about yourself?

Actually, most of it’s a real joy because I’m seeing my friends who I haven’t seen in while—like Benedict, Keira [Knightley]—and we’re very aware of the importance of the Alan Turing story.

Like Alan, you’re a product of a posh British school education…

I think Benedict is the poshest—he went to Harrow [School], which is one of the reasons why I met him. My friend was the same year as him. The first time I met Ben, actually, was because I was doing this thing called The Inspector Lynley Mysteries in which I played Lynley’s [Nathaniel Parker] brother. My girlfriend on the show, Olivia Poulet, was Benedict’s girlfriend at the time, so that was how I got to meet him at this dingy club for our wrap party. There was one of those amazing dance floors like Saturday Night Fever. I think Ben and I just sort of met each other over a dance [does an awkward head bob] and [in mock strain over what I believe are supposed to be loud speakers] were like, ‘Want another beer?’

That’s amazing. Oh! I don’t want to waste too much of your time talking about Benedict.

Oh, you’re fine! I’ve got a bit of time after this.


Ah. I actually have another one of these.

With who? Oh, so this a drink and run?

With Mahershala Ali, who plays Remy Denton on House of Cards.

Oh, he’s quite good! And I love her—

Robin Wright?

Yes. Robin Wright Penn. Or, wait. We don’t say the ‘Penn’ anymore, do we?

We don’t. She was actually just engaged to another one of my favorite actors: Ben Foster.

I love him! Wait, they broke up? That’s really sad. I was really hopeful about that. I liked that whole younger guy with the older woman thing.

Me too!

But we don’t know why they broke up. The age difference probably had nothing to do with it. I really hope it didn’t. I actually met her post-Sean when she was dating a friend of mine…

I think I’d be so intimidated…

She’s not intimidating at all. She’s really lovely. I met her loads of times. You should do one of these with her. You could stick her in a tuxedo and draw a mustache on her or something.


Posted by fay on December 4th, 2014 under Articles with 0 Comments

Comments are closed.