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Benedict Cumberbatch decided against housing Syrian refugee because of baby son

Benedict Cumberbatch once considered housing Syrian refugees but decided against it because his baby son was just months old.

The Sherlock actor attracted praise and criticism two years ago when he made an impassioned speech which criticized the British government's response to the refugee crisis, urging the audience at his performance of Hamlet to donate to Save The Children’s fund for children fleeing Syria.

In an interview with British magazine The Big Issue, Benedict revealed that being a new father to son Christopher, now two, had prompted his "knee-jerk reaction" and that he and his wife, theater director Sophie Hunter, had considered housing refugees in their $3.6 million Hampstead home - before deciding against it.

“I got very heated about it on occasions, and I do regret that,” he sighed to the publication. “But it was a knee-jerk reaction in terms of the refugee crisis – being a new father and seeing a two-year-old child wash up on the beach not dissimilar to the ones I spent my childhood on, and will hopefully take my children to.

"People were saying, 'You’ve got a home, why don’t you house refugees?' And we did look into it.

"But we had, then, a very new baby - maybe four or five months old," the 41-year-old father said, referring to his oldest son - he also now has another son, six-month old Hal.

"I understand why some might think I should be housing people instead of complaining about a government not doing it," he added. "But I was trying to raise awareness that we can do more as a society. Because I do feel we are able to do more than just recovering bodies."

Despite the backlash, the Doctor Strange actor, who will next be seen in BBC adaptation of Ian McEwan novel The Child In Time, has no regrets over speaking out about the issue because he raised much needed funds for refugee children.

"I had to do something. I’m a human being and it was a human crisis and I got over-excited and said things in a rather grand manner some nights," he insisted.

“You stick your head above the parapet and that happens. But we raised money for children in need. So I don’t regret doing it for a second, and I will do it again, even if it does put me in the firing line.”

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