Benedict Cumberbatch 'Thrilled' with 'The Fifth Estate'

October 13th, 2013 9:20am EDT

Benedict Cumberbatch Benedict Cumberbatch is "thrilled" with 'The Fifth Estate'.

The 37-year-old actor plays WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the movie and admitted while he enjoyed the role, he was "terrified" before he watched the finished product for the first time.

He said: "I'm thrilled with it. I'd seen it in the States and I was terrified. I cannot watch myself for the first time, especially playing someone who is so removed from me - because of everything, the appearance, the accent. Everything about him is different."

And despite the film being criticized by Julian - who personally wrote to the 'Sherlock' star in an attempt to persuade him not to accept the role - Benedict has defended against claims the role is a "character assassination."

He argued: "I think [director Bill Condon] has made a beautiful film - it's incredibly balanced. It's entertaining as well as intriguing.

"And what it should do is ignite a debate - that's exactly what should happen. And hopefully it will do that."

Whereas that movie had its challenges, Benedict also acknowledged the difficulties of playing dragon Smaug in 'The Hobbit' trilogy using motion capture technology.

He explained to the Independent newspaper: "A serpent with cold blood and a backbone - who is twice the size of the Empire State Building, breathes fire, is 400 years old and lives on a pile of gold in the middle of a mountain - is a little bit difficult to bring any reality to!"

Related: Benedict Cumberbatch, Julian Assange, The Fifth Estate

Photo Credits: Janet Mayer /

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