Belfast Telegraph

Cumberbatch: I can take dumb roles

Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed that he signed on for Penguins Of Madagascar to show off his acting range.

The British actor, best known for his roles in BBC drama Sherlock, The Hobbit films and The Imitation Game, voices a wolf in the DreamWorks animated comedy, alongside John Malkovich, Ken Jeong and Tom McGrath.

"I'm not playing a scientist, I'm not playing someone particularly smart - he thinks he is. It's a muscle I flex more than people give me credit for, but I loved doing it," he said.

"People form an impression of what you are from your work, and even within that. I mean, Sherlock is intelligent and serious, but it's also a funny show. But this was a joy, an absolute joy, and something different from what people stereotype me as being. For that alone, it's fun."

Benedict - who reprises his role as Smaug the dragon and Sauron in the third and final Hobbit film, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - admitted it can be frustrating dealing with the stereotype.

"It's a very high-class problem, I guess, to have the frustration of being constantly told you're playing clever people. I mean, boring!" he said. " I'm very lucky and they are inspiring characters.

"It makes sense that the characters that burst through and hold imaginations a little longer are the ones more extraordinary, difficult, different, intelligent ones perhaps, and unlikely and accidental anti-heroes.

"So I get it, but sometimes I'm like, 'I played Patrick Watts in Starter For Ten, I play a complete idiot Martin Crieff in a radio show called Cabin Pressure, and (here) I play this wolf."

:: Penguins Of Madagascar is in cinemas now, while The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies opens in cinemas on December 12.

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