Benedict Cumberbatch may not have made it onto the cover of People’s Sexiest Man of the Year, but he did land another coveted one: TIME’s Genius Issue cover. And it's no surprise—in addition to playing Alan Turing, the inventor of the modern computer, in the forthcoming film The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch has played a slew of very smart men, giving him an unparalleled sexy edge of his own.
"I think the challenge of playing some unique characters like Alan—who is really remarkably intelligent—is to humanize them," Cumberbatch says of playing the genius in a behind-the-scenes video from his TIME cover shoot (below). "It’s also, actually, the great gift I suppose—is to realize that they’re bound by the human condition. They’re blood and flesh like us. They live in the same worlds as us."
The recently engaged star also revealed playing incredibly smart roles has him doubting his own prowess at times (though we beg to differ!). "I suppose being remarkably stupid in comparison to any of these people’s abilities is difficult sometimes, but that only really manifests when you’re actually asked to do something that they can do," he adds. Cumberbatch's own opinions aside, we think the handsome Brit proves that being intelligent and sexy go hand-in-hand.