Frankenstein co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller share the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Actor.
This is the second time this awards season that the National Theatre colleagues, who shared the lead roles in the Danny Boyle-directed production, alternating between Dr Frankenstein and his creation, have shared a Best Actor award. The pair collected the corresponding prize at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards last autumn.
This Olivier Award is, though, slightly different. Here the stars were always nominated alongside each other rather than in competition, as they were at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. At the Oliviers it was always going to be all or nothing for the leading men.
For Cumberbatch, the win caps a remarkable year that has seen him rise to global fame through screen appearances in Sherlock and War Horse, with more to follow as he is set to appear in both The Hobbit and the latest Star Trek sequel.
For Lee Miller, who accepted the award, Frankenstein marked a return to the London stage after an extended absence during which he became better known for starring in US TV series Eli Stone and Dexter.
Speaking about the unique role sharing performance, Lee Miller said: “Some stuff we liked we would take from each other, other stuff we didn’t. Some stuff we disagreed about. It was fascinating. Not everyone would be able to work like that, but me and Benedict are lucky enough to really respect each other and like each other and get on with each other.”
Writing about their different, exceptional performances in Frankenstein, Official London Theatre commented: “Miller finds a child-like wonder in the young creature discovering his ability to move, clutching at his feet and laughing with unrestrained joy as he runs, while Cumberbatch imbues him instead with more animalistic, almost prehistoric tendencies.”
Cumberbatch and Miller were nominated alongside illustrious opposition, beating David Haig (The Madness Of George III), Douglas Hodge (Inadmissible Evidence), James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Jude Law (Anna Christie) to win the award.