The Hobbit: Cumberbatch as Smaug [Video]

Smaug and The Hobbit

Benedict Cumberbatch is an actor who came up from behind the screen and smacked audiences on the head with an intellect that kills. At the end of the first Hobbit installment, no one would ever imagine the cerebral Cumberbatch lending his voice to the character Smaug in the second installment of The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug.

Cumberbatch, 37, is certainly making a name for himself very quietly. He is known for his character in the latest Star Trek sequel as the surprising role as Kahn – a far cry from the Ricardo Montalbam version. His next role as the controversial character, Julian Assange, in the movie The Fifth Estate, shows his range as an actor who can fit in any role with substance.  He is currently filming The Imitation Game, which stars heavy hitters Keira Knightley, Rory, Kinnear, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, and Allen Leech.

Cumberbatch was born in London, England to parents who were also actors. Cumberbatch went to university and studied law and theatre. Though his parents lived life as working actors, they had hoped Cumberbatch stay on the path of law, though Cumberbatch’s father was accepting and supporting of his choice as an actor. Earlier in his academic career, Cumberbatch taught English in a Tibetan monastery. Other interesting personal tidbits include his charitable contributions as an ambassador of the Prince’s Trust, a charity targeting underprivileged youth in the United Kingdom. He is also an advocator of creative expression as an instrument for conflict resolution, which is a charity called, Dramatic Need.

The Desolation of Smaug will probably be the movie to whom Cumberbatch was born to lend his voice as The Hobbit is known for dramatic scenes involving actors with a Shakespearian voice. When fans think about the Smaug in the book and animated version of The Hobbit, the voice is deep and ever so ominous. Smaug is a ferocious dragon that guards his horde of gold upon which he sits. In the first installment of The Hobbit series, the ending grabs the audience as a teaser for The Desolation of Smaug.

The news of Cumberbatch as Smaug comes as no surprise as his voice is more than perfect for the dark and foreboding dragon; however, one must realize the importance of the character, after all, the second installment of The Hobbit series is named after Cumberbatch’s character. When Andy Serkis took on the task as the CGI character Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, the fact that he was able to pull off such a feat was remarkable.  Gollum was imperative to the film; however, without the patience and talents of Serkis, the character would have been a disaster. Smaug will also be a CGI character, which will also be produced by Weta Digital.

The Desolation of Smaug will be out in theaters on Dec 13, 2013, which, for Hobbit and Jackson fans, cannot come soon enough. With the success of the first installment, people are anxious to see Smaug the dragon and even more so after hearing the good news of Cumberbatch joining The Hobbit cast.

(Op-ed)

Written by: Dianna Coudriet

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