01/17/2014 09:56 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Why 'Sherlock' Star Benedict Cumberbatch Almost Turned Down The Role Of Holmes

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

With Season 3 of "Sherlock" premiering on PBS this Sunday (Jan. 19), people are crazier than ever about Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Holmes on the show.

But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cumberbatch admitted that he was initially reluctant to take on the role.

“My reservation was ‘Well, this is a very iconic character, there will be a lot of attention on it,’” Cumberbatch said. “This was before I had had any significant success [but] I knew there would still be a lot of focus on it. And while I had done work, it wasn’t stepping into the populist limelight like playing a character like Holmes. So I did have a pause for thought.”

Cumberbatch was right about the attention, the show has a rabid fan base. Almost 11 million viewers tuned in to Season 2.

So what convinced Cumberbatch to finally take the leap? The "Sherlock" crew.

“I thought, If I’m going to do this, if I’m going to step into the limelight with a large leading role of iconic status, then I might as well do it with these people,” he continued. “They know what they’re doing and I completely trust them. I felt like I was being asked to join the family and have some fun. There was nothing businessy about it. And that’s how to operate it.”

Season 3 of "Sherlock" will premiere on Sun., Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. EST on PBS.



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