Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch has branded his fans "obsessive and deluded" stalkers.

The 'Dr. Strange' actor is baffled by the fact some of his particularly passionate devotees - who call themselves Cumberbitches - are convinced that his marriage to Sophie Hunter and their son Christopher, 16 months, are just "PR stunts" and he finds some of their possessive comments hard to understand.

He said: "There are people who believe that my wife is a P.R. stunt and my child is a P.R. stunt.

"I think really it's to do with the idea that the 'Internet's boyfriend' can't actually belong to anyone else but the Internet. It's impossible he belongs to anyone but me. And that's what stalking is. That's what obsessive, deluded, really scary behaviour is."

However, the 40-year-old star admits some of the comments posted online - such as a Twitter post which read; "Sometimes when I'm sad I picture a shirtless Benedict Cumberbatch slowly eating an apple fritter. Try it!" - make him laugh because he insists he isn't perfect.

He told Vanity Fair magazine: "Have you tried that? It wouldn't work for me.

"I'm glad I'm bringing a ray of sunshine to an otherwise dull day, being imagined eating fritters shirtless. But, I don't know, it makes me giggle. I don't look at myself in the mirror and go, 'Yeah, absolutely! I see what they're saying!' I see all my faults and everything that I've always seen as my faults."

Benedict's son, who is nicknamed Kit, was born two weeks before he began rehearsing for London stage production 'Hamlet' and he has found that becoming a father helped him with his role in the Shakespearean play.

He said: "Having a baby--it's massive. And on a very unexpected level. Suddenly I understood my parents much more profoundly than I ever had before.

"I was expecting, with 'Hamlet', that it might be a hindrance to be a father, because it's all about being a son. But it's the opposite. You understand much more about being a son, becoming a father."