Redditors have shared who they think are the best performers to have played Sherlock Holmes, such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Jeremy Brett.
Continuing to revamp Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of the detective, the release of the movie Enola Holmes 2 is a triumphant return of the beloved main character, the sister of the renowned Sherlock Holmes. In this movie, like its predecessor, the latter is played by Henry Cavill, who brings his own signature charm to one of detective fiction’s most famous figures. Cavill is just one of many actors who have played Sherlock Holmes, taking more of a supporting role than the usual headliner of his fascinating story. Unsurprisingly, Redditors have been very forthcoming in sharing their opinions about who has the best portrayal of the character, and while some are the usual suspects, there are also a few surprises.
For many Redditors, Jeremy Brett remains the quintessential Sherlock Holmes. He manages to capture so many of the book mannerisms of the character, and the TV series in which he appeared was notable for capturing both the feel of the series as well as the plots of the original stories. Kinshuk7566 writes that, upon seeing Brett in the role, “I knew what it was like to feel the lines between fact and fiction blur away.” Indeed, for many growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, Brett was the face most associated with the detective, and to this day, his portrayal remains one of the most indelibly faithful to Doyle’s description of the character.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. played many notable roles, and though he is most famous as Tony Stark/Iron Man, he has also received praise for his interpretation of Sherlock Holmes in the movies directed by Guy Ritchie. FuuMaanChuu writes that “Downey is really fun to watch as Sherlock but for me he is a whole different character. His charisma is great.” It is true that his character deviates from other screen interpretations, but Downey’s undeniable charisma more than makes up for the lack of faithfulness to the source material. What’s more, he also does manage to capture a certain know-it-all attitude that is very Sherlockian.
As famous as Brett is as Holmes, he is almost matched by Basil Rathbone. The British actor was renowned in his time for his ability to inhibit the skin of this particular character, and he still exerts a hold on many Redditors. FuuMaanChuu writes that “Rathbone is not text accurate but really fun to watch.” There is something uniquely pleasurable about the Rathbone movies, showing a finely trained actor at the height of his craft. And, just as importantly, Rathbone simply has the look of Holmes, with his haughty, quasi-aristocratic bearing.
Benedict Cumberbatch has many great roles under his belt, and one of the most notable of these is as Holmes in the series Sherlock. With his rich, deep voice, and his undeniable hauteur, he manages to bring the character firmly and seamlessly into the 21st century. His performance has also impressed many Redditors. DarkCompetitive3490 puts it this way: “He really did a great job in bringing the eccentric nature of Holmes.” Indeed, it is precisely his strangeness that makes him such a compelling figure for others to watch, which helps to explain why he remains so popular among the show’s fanbase.
Though he might not have quite the iconic status as some of the others who have portrayed Sherlock Holmes, Rupert Everett still has his fair share of admirers. Pavinaferrari puts it this way: “I loved Rupert Everett from the Case of the Silk Stocking.” There is something very dashing about the particular energy that Everett brings to the role. He may not be quite as splashy as some, but there is nevertheless a certain knowing campiness to his performance. He shares a wry joke with the audience that helps to set it apart from other portrayals.