Benedict Cumberbatch appreciates the time he spent with monks in India in his youth.

The 36-year-old British actor takes on the role of villain John Harrison in upcoming adventure movie Star Trek Into Darkness.

Before Benedict commenced his studies at University of Manchester nearly two decades ago, the star travelled to Darjeeling, India through the GAP organisation.

Benedict appreciates every moment of his experience in the monastery.

“I could actually stay with monks in their home and watch them at work and at prayer, and get the chance to teach them [English] and interact with them,” he told UK newspaper The Sun.

Benedict learned several beneficial things from the Buddhists.

He was able to apply the teachings to his work as an actor.

“Meditating and all that, being able to be still and focus, I did that,” Benedict explained.

“There’s an ability to focus and have a real sort of purity of purpose and attention and not be too distracted. And to feel very alive to your environment, to know what you are part of, to understand what is going on in your peripheral vision and behind you, as well of what is in front of you. That definitely came from that.”

Benedict is in awe of his current success.

“I was mobbed at the airport in Japan, which was not my usual sort of thing. It’s not what I expect when I arrive at the airport,” he said.

“It was amazing. Lots of fans turned out when we were recording in Tokyo. Yeah, none of that is normal, is it? It’s fantastic.”