Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 1 March 2015

Cumberbatch plays Star Trek villain

Benedict Cumberbatch introduced a preview screening of part of the new Star Trek movie
Benedict Cumberbatch introduced a preview screening of part of the new Star Trek movie

Benedict Cumberbatch is proud to have been cast as a stereotypical British baddie in the new Star Trek sequel.

The Sherlock star has unveiled the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness at a special IMAX presentation of the footage in London. Benedict will play menacing villain John Harrison.

He said: "I'm following in the very hallowed footsteps of (Jeremy) Irons, (Alan) Rickman and Tom Hiddleston, my great friend in this summer's Avengers. There are a few of us who have done it before, it stretches back as old as time. They get excited about these actors with theatre training who can do stuff. It's hugely flattering but you're not going to see me do a whole raft of villains after this."

The sequel kicks off at a fast pace, with Captain Kirk's trademark quips, a volcano erupting and Spock in grave danger during a mission to save a planet.

Benedict was not allowed to reveal much about the plot, but described Harrison as "a phenomenal one-man weapon of mass destruction".

He also admitted he was nervous unveiling the footage of himself on the big screen.

He said: "I always get incredibly nervous, especially on an empty stomach having only had a macchiato. It makes your heart beat a lot faster and I don't like it. I look away when it's me, I don't like being my own audience. It's very weird. You probably saw my nostril hairs, counted how many pores I've got on my nose and which one of my teeth is wonky."

Fans wanting to see the footage can catch it in front of selected IMAX 3D screenings worldwide of The Hobbit, beginning on Friday.

Star Trek Into Darkness, directed by JJ Abrams, opens next May.

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