10.12.2013 Printable version
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Interview
with Kam Williams
Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch was born in London on July 19, 1976 to a couple of accomplished actors in their own right, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton. A chip off the old block, Benedict followed in his parents’ footsteps after studying theater at the University of Manchester and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
The versatile thespian’s impressive list of credits includes outings as Stephen Hawking in Hawking, as William Pitt in Amazing Grace, and as Vincent Van Gogh in Van Gogh: Painted with Words. He also appeared in Atonement, The Other Boleyn Girl, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the Hobbit and War Horse.
This year alone, he’s starred in The Fifth Estate, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County, Star Trek into Darkness and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. And on television, he reprised his title role in the PBS Masterpiece series Sherlock Holmes.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that busy Benedict was just named Artist of the Year by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In addition, he was on the cover of Time Magazine in October and was ranked #1 by Empire Magazine on its 2013 list of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars.
Here, he talks about life, career and his latest film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, where he does double-duty as the voice of both Smaug and the Necromancer.
Kam Williams: Hi Benedict, I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak with you.
Benedict Cumberbatch: That’s alright, Kam. I appreciate your taking the time.
KW: I loved both of your performances in this film.
BC: Thank you.
KW: I told my readers I’d be interviewing you, so I’ll be mixing their questions in with my own.
KW: Documentary filmmaker Kevin Williams says: Congratulations on being the “It” actor of 2013. How does it feel to be one of the hottest actors out there?
BC: It’s fantastic! I’m very wary though, wanting to build a career based on longevity. My eyes on the prize is doing this for the next forty-odd years, I guess, judging by McKellen’s [Hobbit co-star Sir Ian McKellen] standards. He’s a man in his early seventies still giving extraordinary, sensational, entertaining, inventive and energized performances. So, I’m thrilled that it’s been such a great couple of years for me, but I’ve been working professionally for over a decade now. Yes, I’m trying to enjoy this moment, but at the same time, I’m sort of focused on my long-term goal of carving out a career that’s for life, rather than being a flash in the pan. And I think the projects I’ve been picking have given me a good grounding for that.