Benedict Cumberbatch Improvised Hilarious Avengers: Infinity War Line

Benedict Cumberbatch reveals that he improvised one part of Doctor Strange’s Avengers: Infinity War line, “It’s protecting your reality, douchebag.”

Benedict Cumberbatch improvised one perfectly snarky Doctor Strange line in Avengers: Infinity War. The 2018 film was the first part of the epic two-part conclusion to the first three phases of the MCU. All of the previously introduced Avengers had to team up against the MCU’s biggest threat yet, Thanos, in order to save the universe. However, just because the Avengers had a common enemy to defeat, it didn’t lead to all of the heroes becoming best friends right off the bat.

The best example of this was the initially tense relationship between Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) The two men didn’t meet until Avengers: Infinity War, and their similar alpha-domineering personalities didn’t exactly mesh from the get-go. Stark didn’t take Doctor Strange very seriously, even asking him point blank while the men were convened at Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Santorum, “What exactly is your job, besides making balloon animals?” However, both Tony and Doctor Strange had a common goal. Neither of them wanted to be the reason that the universe fell to Thanos.

In a new in-depth interview with THR, Cumberbatch revealed that he improvised one of Doctor Strange’s funniest Avengers: Infinity War lines. The line in question was Doctor Strange’s response to Tony Stark’s question about his job, replying with, “It’s protecting your reality, douchebag.” Cumberbatch improvised the line, adding the word “douchebag.” Check out what Cumberbatch thought of this filming moment below:

"I remember on the set when I called him a douchebag, there was this sort of ripple effect. ‘Oh my God. Did you just call Iron Man a douchebag?’ They kept it, good for them. And then, it got the same kind of response at the cinema. I was just … I got bored of being compared to Liberace or whatever other retorts the guy with the same camp goatee had opposite me, so I tried to knock him down. It’s great fun to play with that stuff. You find your feet. The more times you do it, the more familiar it becomes.”

Doctor Strange’s retort to Tony Stark’s question was perfectly in-character for Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme. It makes perfect sense why Cumberbatch’s improvised line was kept in the final cut of the film, as it added a great extra bit of humor before the darkness of the inevitable finale of Thanos’ snap. In many ways, the evolution of Tony and Doctor Stark’s relationship from grudging allies to respected colleagues from Avengers: Infinity War to Avengers: Endgame was one of the best developed friendships in the two films.

The culmination of their friendship was the moment where Tony finally understood what Doctor Strange meant by one chance to defeat Thanos. Iron Man put his trust and his life in the wizard’s one in a billion prediction, and the result of their mutual respect was that Thanos was finally defeated once and for all. It appears that Doctor Strange will continue to honor his newfound friend’s legacy by helping Peter Parker (Tom Holland) during the events of the upcoming film, Spider Man: No Way Home.

It’ll be interesting to see how Doctor Strange deals with the aftermath of the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame during Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Cumberbatch had more freedom to improvise in the Doctor Strange sequel, but beyond that, major plot details for the highly anticipated film are still tightly under wraps. What is true is that Doctor Strange has shown immense growth since 2016’s Doctor Strange, and part of his positive character arc journey was thanks his fellow slightly arrogant and snarky Avenger and friend, Iron Man.