"It was a bit foolhardy, but no real bravery, no real heroics," says the actor who plays a superhero when asked about reports of his real-life heroism.
The report emerged this past June and delighted his fans, but the Marvel star told Ellen Degeneres Monday that the incident actually happened on a "cold November night." Also, he's not the fighter the press made him out to be. The actor who plays Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe said the story told by Uber driver Manuel Dias was "exaggerated," because he didn't actually fight anybody.
"This is where it gets embarrassing, because he said he was in there and I was fighting," Cumberbatch said. "It’s all been a bit exaggerated, so I feel a bit weird talking about it."
The British actor reportedly leapt out of an Uber after seeing the Delieveroo employee being attacked by four men. According to The Sun, the man famous for playing Sherlock Holmes on BBC's "Sherlock" got physical in the fight and told the men to "leave [the cyclist] alone," and the men fled the scene.
When Ellen asked about the situation, Cumberbatch made it clear he used his words, not fists, to simmer the men down.
"I saw a delivery bike guy getting surrounded by some guys on a very cold November night, and I stopped the Uber that we were in and got out and tried to calm the kids down -- or rather tried to calm him down, he looked like he was about to fight for his life," he said. "It was a bit foolhardy, but no real bravery, no real heroics. I literally got in the way."
"I also just tried to stop traffic so they could witness it and if anything did happen then there were people there and that might scare the violence out of the situation," he continued.
Cumberbatch's Uber driver told a more dramatic account.
"My passenger jumped out, ran over and pulled the men away. They turned towards him and things looked like getting worse, so I joined in," Dias said.
"I had hold of one lad and Benedict another. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing. He was very brave. He did most of it, to be honest," he continued. "They tried to hit him but he defended himself and pushed them away. He wasn’t injured. Then I think they also recognized it was Benedict and ran away."
Although Cumberbatch said the driver exaggerated the details, he did say Dias was "very supportive that night."
"Like keeping the car running?" Ellen joked.