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Freeman at Hobbit premiere in LA

Martin Freeman has revealed he was tormented by his Hobbit co-star Benedict Cumberbatch even when they were miles apart.

Martin resumes his role of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug while Sherlock cohort Benedict takes on the role of the terrifying dragon Smaug.

The co-stars come face to face in a dramatic showdown in the dragon's lair in the film, but Martin said Benedict was not there to torture him in person while they were shooting.

Speaking on the black carpet at the world premiere of the movie in Los Angeles, Martin joked: "Welcome to my world. I was tormented by him even when not in his presence.

"He wasn't really there but he's very good in the film, it works well."

The movie follows on from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and The Office star Martin said his character is facing darker issues.

"Bilbo is in a different place, he's having to be different, to kill and be killed. It's a very exciting time and he grows a lot in this movie."

The cast have already completed filming of the third and final instalment of the franchise and Martin said it was hard to say goodbye to the role.

"I like him a lot, he's definitely a part of me now. He was a hard one to say goodbye to, when I left New Zealand at the end of it all I got quite choked up, I was unexpectedly quite moved.

"I thought I would be fine because I had been there for two years but it was quite moving."

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is in cinemas on December 13.

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