Feel it: ‘Doctor Strange’ cast learns from Buddhist monk

Gelong Thubten taught actors how to practise mindfulness

News Desk October 31, 2016
Rachel McAdams plays Dr Palmer in Doctor Strange. PHOTO: FILE

Tutelage from a Buddhist monk helped British actor Benedict Cumberbatch with his starring role in Doctor Strange, the latest film from Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Cumberbatch stars as Stephen Strange, an arrogant surgeon who draws on powers of mysticism and spirituality when his glamorous life is taken away after damaging his hands in a car accident.

“That’s a great practice to have in your life - full stop,” said Cumberbatch, referring to the mindfulness training monk Gelong Thubten, provided on set.

“As an actor, it’s great because it brings you into that moment of stillness and presence. You’ve got a lot of people demanding your attention in film-making.”

The Tibetan Buddhist monk was invited on set by British actor Tilda Swinton, who plays The Ancient One and transforms Strange from incompetent student to a magic-wielding sorcerer.

“I introduced him to the project and he’s been hanging out with us and teaching everybody, if they don’t know, about mindfulness and about how to still the mind,” Swinton said, in an interview.

Doctor Strange, out in theaters on November 4, follows Strange, a cocky and brilliant surgeon — much like the billionaire Iron Man Tony Stark — whose hands are crippled in a car accident. REUTERS

Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st , 2016.

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