Benedict Cumberbatch finds his fans' devotion ''overwhelming and utterly humbling''.

The 40-year-old actor was stunned to find a huge queue of people waiting overnight for his 'Doctor Strange' panel at San Diego Comic-Con and insisted on getting the chance to spend time with them because they are the reason he's in the position he is.

He said: ''I came out and saw this huge line of people and said, 'Is that for some event?' And they said, 'No, it's for what you're doing tomorrow'. I was like, 'How long have they been there? What? All day? In this heat? Have they got water?' And they said, 'Yeah some of them have, some of them haven't?' 'Are they going to be on the street tonight? Can I go and talk to them?'

''There were furtive looks between the security [and they said] 'We can make that happen if you really want to.' And I said 'Hell I do.'

''I want to meet the people who make this possible because it's all about them and their enthusiasm and their devotion, it's overwhelming and utterly humbling, whether they've come from miles [away] or put all that effort into cosplay, it's really inspiring and humbling and reminds you what it's all about.''

The British star - who has a 13-month-old son, Christopher, with wife Sophie - plays neurosurgeon Stephen Strange, who develops into the titular superhero following a shocking accident, in the upcoming Marvel movie and while he was ''hooked in'' from the moment he was told about the role, he insisted on adding more humour to the script so that people would care more about his character.

He explained to USA Today newspaper: ''Once Scott [Derrickson, director] and Kevin [Feige, producer] explained what the full vision for the character was, I was completely hooked in and I went through the script with them and said it was very important to bring a level of humour in, which wasn't there in the script or the comics.

''Yes he takes himself seriously we need that for the fall he suffers which is major before his rise to becoming a superhero, but you've got to care about the guy, not just because he's having all kinds of trauma inflicted on him, but because he's fun.''