Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cumberbatch Talks Trek Audition and Filming

While promoting the upcoming airing of Sherlock Season 2 (worth watching) on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery starting May 6th, Benedict Cumberbatch spoke about his audition (via iPhone) for Star Trek 2, filming the movie and working with JJ Abrams. As usual no spoilers but he did film scenes at the Budweiser Brewery suggesting he has a few scenes in the Enterprises' engineering section.

From THR about his audition via iPhone:
[Benedict Cumberbatch] recalls having received a call last Christmas that the director was "very interested" in Cumberbatch playing a "not-so-good guy," as he puts it, in the sequel. Cumberbatch, who was in England at the time, "begged" his best friend to shoot his audition. "I was pretty strung out," Cumberbatch said. "So that went into the performance."

It clearly did the trick: A day after New Year's, Cumberbatch received an e-mail from Abrams reading, "You want to come and play?" -- the director's way of telling Cumberbatch he got the part. Abrams tells the Times the iPhone-captured video was "one of the most compelling audition readings I've ever seen." As for the nature of the bad guy he'll be playing, Cumberbatch's lips are securely sealed: "You could stick a knife in my thigh, and I wouldn’t tell you,” he said.
From Zap2It on Abrams and filming:
"I'm getting my hair dyed at the moment, at work," British actor Benedict Cumberbatch tells Zap2it, calling in from the set of "Star Trek 2," the second installment in director J.J. Abrams' big-screen reboot of the science-fiction franchise.

"The movie goes very well," Cumberbatch says. "It's very, very long hours, but it's an incredible job. It's phenomenal. J.J. brings it. It's a very exciting set to be on. He's very imaginative. He's involved in the details, the acting and all the wonderful ideas he has for capturing stories in a fresh and imaginative way. Just the range of stuff I get to do in one day, it's great. Also, what he's asking me, it's just wonderful. I can't say much nicer than that. I'm basically raving about it, and I don't have a gun pointed to my head. He's a genuinely good human being, as well as being absurdly talented and popular. He's just fantastically talented, just in payoffs and thrills and chills along the way."

Asked if he's enjoying it all, Cumberbatch says, "Yeah, you betcha. It's great. I've gone up two suit sizes. The character I'm playing, he's strong, I can say that much. I've changed my physique a bit, so that requires eating like a foie gras goose, well beyond your appetite, And, providing I don't feel too ill, I then work out two hours a day with a phenomenal trainer. It's the L.A. way."

Cumberbatch has also gotten a chance to film in the Budweiser Brewery in the San Fernando Valley, which was used in Abrams' first "Star Trek" movie as the engine room of the Starship Enterprise. "It's noisy," he says. "it's very, very, very mind-numbingly noisy. It's slightly like what you'd imagine they'd be playing in your earphones if you were being tortured by some foreign operative. It's not particularly pleasant. And yet, it's stunning, and it films beautifully. It's incredible. It's a working, functioning factory, and production doesn't shut down for us being there. It's fantastic, really beautiful."

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