Hunter is an actress, singer and accomplished film director who hails from a noble family line
We already know that Benedict Cumberbatch is devastatingly fluent in pillow talk, having recently ignited the Internet with the sexiest violin metaphor ever. As his alter ego Sherlock Holmes, “I’d know exactly how to please a woman, I’d know exactly where to put my fingers, where to put my tongue, where to put my – his, I should say – his fingers, his tongue,” he recently told Elle UK. “Think about violinists, think about what they can do with their fingers.”
More of a mystery, however, is the woman who captured his heartstrings: fiancée Sophie Hunter. Here are five things to know about the smart, accomplished and beautiful Mrs. Cumberbatch-to-be. (Spoiler alert: Prepare to be even more jealous than you thought possible.)
1. Sophie comes from a distinguished family.
Like Cumberbatch, 38, who is the great-grandson of Queen Victoria’s consul general in Turkey, Hunter, 36, also comes from a noble line. She is granddaughter of the late General Sir James Michael Gow GCB, Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath, who was equerry (an officer charged with supervision of the horses belonging to a royal or noble household) to Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, in the 1950s, according to the Daily Mail. Hunter’s grandfather became Commander-in-Chief British Army of the Rhine and Commander Northag, the Northern Army Group of Nato.
2. Sophie was once part of one of London’s it couples with sculptor Conrad Shawcross.
Hunter met sculptor Shawcross at Oxford, where she studied French and Italian (she is fluent in French). Shawcross, a protégé of art collector Charles Saatchi, was seen as one of London’s most talented young artists. In the mid-2000s, the two lived together in a converted warehouse that served as Conrad’s studio, according to the Daily Mail. However, she once said of their relationship, “To be perfectly honest, I can’t imagine getting married. I’ve got a lot to do before I have children – they are way off.”
3. She is an accomplished theater director.
Hunter is perhaps best known for her avant-garde plays. According to IMDB, she directed the North American tour of the 2013 experimental play The Shackleton Project, which dramatized the almost fatal voyage of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton by having performers on stilts manipulate marionette puppets. Hunter also directed the 2010 revival of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts at Access Theatre on Broadway, and she received the Samuel Beckett Award In 2007 for writing and directing the play The Terrific Electric at the Barbican Centre.
4. Sophie’s a singer.
Hunter recorded the French-language music album The Isis Project with Guy Chambers, who is the songwriting partner of Robbie Williams, according to Hello!. The record was a tribute to Chambers’s daughter.
5. She starred opposite Reese Witherspoon.
Hunter’s breakout acting performance was as Maria Osborne in the 2004 film Vanity Fair, starring Reese Witherspoon, and she was hailed as the new Sienna Miller or Keira Knightley. Hunter reportedly met Cumberbatch in 2009 while the two were filming Burlesque Fairytales about naturalist Charles Darwin.