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Benedict Cumberbatch’s audition tape for ‘The Hobbit’ is brilliant

It's fairly similar to what ended up on-camera.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Oct 29, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 7:44 am CDT

Benedict Cumberbatch only needed his voice to charm the casting directors behind The Hobbit before getting the part of Smaug.

He and Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman were auditioning around the same time for their respective roles during their show’s first season, and Cumberbatch sent in a video of himself reading part of the script while performing snake-like movements with his neck. But because the filmmakers didn’t know whether they were going to go with motion capture or a voiceover when it came to bringing the dragon to life, they also had Cumberbatch perform with his face off-camera.

It took him more than a year to hear he got the role, but in the end we’re glad they ended up going with motion capture.

Photo via honeyfitz/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Oct 29, 2014, 2:55 pm CDT