Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the hottest actors this awards-show season with his turn in The Imitation Game garnering a lot of buzz. The obsession around the talented and quirky actor has reached a fever pitch as of late, so it’s fun to watch the Brit’s audition tape for The Hobbit.
The genius of Cumberbatch is how he chose to tape his audition for the role of Smaug.
“I did a few head movements and some serpentine stuff with my neck and got the shoulders working a bit. It got very quiet and I went, ‘Too much?”‘He [the casting director]went, ‘No, no. That was fine. I just wasn’t expecting it. Just do one off-camera.'”
This is where the magic of the Sherlock actor really comes into play. Without the camera focusing in on his face, you can hear the inflections and vocal work Cumberbatch put into the character.
He nailed the role a year later. Director Peter Jackson explained how important this choice was.
“It wasn’t about what he looked like, it was about what he sounded like,” said Jackson.
Watch Benedict Cumberbatch’s audition tape for The Hobbit.