The actor, who is continuing to promote Marvel's Black Panther and his role as CIA Special Agent Everett Ross in the film, spoke to The Telegraph (via Radio Times) about his work in the beloved BBC series and expressed a great deal of frustration with a certain aspect of the massive fan following and resulting expectations.
In particular, he condemned some fans' desires to see his character Dr. John Watson become anything more than platonic with the title character, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch.
"There was a chunk of people who just knew it was going to end with us getting together. Me and Ben, we have literally never, never played a moment like lovers. We ain't f***ing lovers," he said.
Freeman also said that the show, which debuted in 2010 and has since run for a total of 13 episodes, began on such solid footing that it's fatiguing to try and keep up that momentum and quality ... and may hinder the chances of a fifth series ever coming along.
"I think after series four [it] felt like a pause. I think we felt we'd done it for a bit now. And part of it, speaking for myself, is [due to] the reception of it," he explained. "People's expectations, some of it's not fun any more. It's not a thing to be enjoyed, it's a thing of: 'You better f***ing do this, otherwise you're a c***.' That's not fun any more."
With Freeman and Cumberbatch both arriving as newer members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, neither is hurting for work opportunities. Meanwhile, fans online seem to have some very mixed reactions to both Martin's words and his indication that the prospect of another series of new episodes has been hindered by fans wanting a love story to finally blossom between its stars.
i don't even know what to say about the sherlock article. all i can say is:— georgia (@IRONSTVRK) March 16, 2018
- sherlock holmes and john watson are in love, always have been and always will be, regardless of what anyone says
- I Know What I Saw
- someday the true story will be told
and martin...i love you but you're one of those who were saying years ago that sherlock was a love story, even as joke, you still said on interviews you'd draw some johnlock fanarts yourself. don't be surprised afterwards if people wanted johnlock to happen, you encouraged them— sam (@martinfreemvn) March 16, 2018
if I see anyone... ANYONE, blaming on Martin Freeman the slightest thing about Sherlock probably not being back:— ivan (@madetomeasvre) March 16, 2018
a) We all somehow knew the show was over.
b) He must be tired and has the right not only as an actor BUT A HUMAN BEING to reject a job he doesn't want to do anymore.
I don't even care if Sherlock comes back. I liked the fourth season and in many ways found it a satisfying conclusion. But I'm still really angry that a horrible, bitter, entitled subset of the fandom ruined it for the creators.— Bella ➡⛸🇮🇹 (@porgavenger) March 16, 2018