Sunday, April 22, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4268: Benedict Cumberbatch, Schadenfreude, and The Grinch - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

During his recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Benedict Cumberbatch inadvertently demonstrated how difficult it can be to successfully tell a lie - even in a well-trained paid profession.

GRAHAM NORTON (beginning at 0:00): You say you're good at keeping plots secrets 'n things, but you were a bit loose-lipped about the plot for Star Trek.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: [Lip smack] To one, one person - yeah, who I thought deserved to know - and that was Stephen Hawking. Ahum, we were - into our third margarita I think - and - I decided to tell him - and he literally, apart from the agents who told me the news - and the people who were employing me were the only people who were supposed to know [deep inhale] so - yeah I told him.

GRAHAM NORTON: Wow. Did he tell anyone else?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: Ω Not as far as I'm aware ,

During 0:28 ( ), just after Cumberbatch says, "Not as far as I'm aware" - he displays a specific variation of a suppressed smile (e.g., Duping Delight) known as a Schadenfreude Smile.

This phenomenon is called "Duping Delight", because the person is taking true joy in the thought that he is duping (fooling) his audience.

Here, the Schadenfreude Smile is hyperbolically expressed in the classic, 1966 animation - and has thus also has been come to be Known as The Grinch Smile (named for the diabolical version of the Dr. Seuss character).

Perhaps Cumberbatch was channeling the character in whom he plays the starring role in the upcoming 2018 rendition of The Grinch.

Despite the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is an extremely skilled and accomplished actor - his attempt at suppressing his delight fails - lasting less than a second before he breaks into laughter (during 0:29, ).

Note that while sincere smiling does NOT show bottom teeth - fully expressed sincere laughter does indeed reveal them. 

If we go back just a bit to the 0:25 mark, just prior to Mr. Cumberbatch saying, "... I told him", we see the actor displaying another, less obvious suppressed smile ( ).

During 0:28, Just after Graham Norton asks, "Did he tell anyone else?", Cumberbatch also looks up to his left ( Ω ).

Upon being asked a question about a past event, when a right-handed person looks up to their left - they are visually recalling a specific memory (Cumberbatch is right-hand dominant). Thus, while not 100% definitive, in this context, this dynamic is highly suggestive of a distinct act of Hawking's - wherein the Physicist DID TELL, in fact, someone else the Star Trek plot.

Summary: Taken in toto - Benedict Cumberbatch's cluster of nonverbal behavior in this brief clip - indicates that the actor is lying when he claimed Stephen Hawking kept his secret of the plot to Star Trek.

Despite being an outstanding actor - when he's lying in off-screen scenarios, (when Benedict is just being Benedict - not "in character") - he's no better at suppressing his body language during deception than most anyone on the street. The same truth would hold even if he had ten Oscars to his credit.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4267: Donald Trump and Pretending to Pray

Body Language Analysis No. 4264: Criminal Profiling • Sketch of Man Who Allegedly Threatened Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) Over Her Affair with Donald Trump

Body Language Analysis No. 4262: Wendy Vitter, the U.S. District Court, and Brown v. Board of Education

Body Language Analysis No. 4260: James Comey on Good Morning America re: Trump, Russia, and the Steele Dossier 

Body Language Analysis No. 4254: Tony Robbins, Nanine McCool, and the #MeToo Movement

Body Language Analysis No. 4244: Stormy Daniels' 60 Minutes Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 4232: Betsy DeVos' 60 Minutes Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 4152: Ruby Rose and her Mother's (Overgrown) Pig

Body Language Analysis No. 4088: Kit Harington's April Fools' Prank on Rose Leslie