Benedit Cumberbatch may look like a Reptilian straight out of David Icke’s worst nightmares, but he’s an incredible actor who not only plays the world’s greatest detective in the BBC’s surprisingly watchable series Sherlock, but will also play the dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson’s upcoming The Hobbit. He also happens, just happens, to be The Most British Man Alive. Oh, and the kind of cool guy who films his audition tapes on an iPhone too, as it turns out.
According to The New York Times, Cumberbatch scored a leading villain role in J.J. Abrams’s upcoming Star Trek sequel by auditioning in his kitchen and emailing the video from his iPhone.
Last December, on vacation in Gloucestershire, England, he got the call that Mr. Abrams wanted him to submit a videotaped audition for “the not-so-good guy” (in Mr. Cumberbatch’s words) in the “Star Trek” sequel — and could not find anyone to film it for him.
“We observe this little Judeo-Christian cult holiday called Christmas,” Mr. Cumberbatch said sarcastically. “Whereas, you know, some kids in this part of town” — he circled his hands in the Los Angeles air — “with their Crackberrys, don’t.”
In a friend’s kitchen late at night, an agitated and weary Mr. Cumberbatch recorded his audition on an iPhone — “I was pretty strung out,” he said, “so that went into the performance” — and sent it to Mr. Abrams, only to be told the director was also on vacation.
Mr. Abrams, who saw the recording a few days later and hired Mr. Cumberbatch, wrote in an e-mail that it was “one of the most compelling audition readings I’d ever seen.”
What bumpy headed alien will Cumberbatch be portraying? Will he wear makeup, or will he instead simply shed his pale human skin and film his role that way?
We should know soon enough.