Benedict Cumberbatch Sweetly Embraces Wife Sophie Hunter After Winning Cinema Vanguard Award

Sophie Hunter was at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where Jane Campion presented Benedict Cumberbatch with the Cinema Vanguard Award

Sophie Hunter and Benedict Cumberbatch
Sophie Hunter and Benedict Cumberbatch. Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty

Benedict Cumberbatch has his best gal by his side.

The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness actor, 45, nabbed the Cinema Vanguard Award Wednesday at the 37th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where his theater-pro wife Sophie Hunter was on hand for support.

In a sweet photo from the event, Cumberbatch holds his trophy in one hand while the other is wrapped around Hunter and the two smile for the camera.

Hunter, 43, wore an ankle-length A-line gold dress with a floral print and strappy black heels for the occasion, while Cumberbatch opted for a dapper black Dior suit.

In another photo, the actor holds his trophy along with the Ukrainian flag — a clear sign of support for the country amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

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Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch. Tibrina Hobson/Getty

Jane Campion — who directed Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog, for which he is nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award — presented the actor with the Cinema Vanguard Award on Wednesday.

"Vanguard means to be at the front of something, doesn't it? You can't really be at the front of anything without anyone behind you," he said during his acceptance speech. "I do feel like I'm standing on the shoulders of many, many people."

"I thank every single one of you that has paid for a ticket and gone to a theater," Cumberbatch added.

According to a release, previous recipients of the honor include Carey Mulligan, Laura Dern, Michael B. Jordan, William DeFoe, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, Nicole Kidman, Peter Sarsgaard, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stanley Tucci and Ryan Gosling.

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In a conversation with Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond at the festival, Cumberbatch said that playing so many well-known real-life people during his career "comes with an added weight."

"You're carrying their actions and image into the world … so yes, it does carry some responsibility," he added.

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He also joked of whether his children with Hunter know he's famous, "We try to give them as much of a normal childhood as we can."

But despite their efforts, "They get it more from their friends that I'm Doctor Strange," Cumberbatch added. "The time will come where they can either enjoy that or run a million f-----g miles from it!"

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