Benedict Cumberbatch Recalls Defending a Gay Classmate

"Are you sick in the head?" he remembered asking the bullies.

"I said, 'Stop, stop, stop, stop,' because they all just came charging down the corridor, and I said, 'What just happened?' and they told me, 'It’s disgusting, isn't it?' And I went, 'No, your behavior is f****** disgusting. How would you feel if you were chased because you have a turban, or you were chased because of the color of your skin, or you were chased because of your religion? It’s about being an individual. You can’t tolerate that? Are you sick in the head?'" he told Out magazine. "And they were like, 'What? No. Why, are you gay?' And I said, 'No, but I can clearly see that you’re bullies. You’re just nasty human beings.'"

Cumberbatch, 38, said that Hollywood isn't always the most welcoming of gay actors, either. In many cases, he said, coming out creates a "huge obstacle" for stars who want to be leading men.