From ‘Sherlock’ to ‘Star Trek’ for Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch has had a busy 24 hours.
The British actor was nominated for a Golden Globe, chased by the paparazzi in London and unveiled the first nine minutes of the new “Star Trek” movie Friday.
At a special IMAX presentation of the footage in London, Cumberbatch’s menacing character John Harrison was introduced at the beginning of the much-anticipated “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
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.
Cumberbatch was not allowed to reveal much about the plot, but the 36-year-old did admit that he auditioned for the role of Harrison — who he describes as “a phenomenal one-man weapon of mass destruction” — on an iPhone in his friend’s kitchen.
Fans wanting to see the footage can catch it in front of selected IMAX 3-D screenings worldwide of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which began Friday.
“Star Trek Into Darkness,” directed by J.J. Abrams, opens in May.
The Associated Press spoke to the “Sherlock” star after the presentation.
Question: How did it feel coming here and seeing your face so big on that screen?
Answer: 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.
Q: It’s obviously in the great tradition of having an English baddie.
A: 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 theater 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.
Q: Congratulations on the Golden Globe nomination (best actor in a miniseries for “Sherlock”). Did you celebrate?
A: I went out with my niece, who is my PA (personal assistant) Emily, and we got papped (followed by paparazzi) to the point that I couldn’t actually see, and I had to put my head down and just blink a couple of times. I was trying to get in the car with her, and so immediately they presume, “ah, beautiful blonde.” Poor girl, she’s never experienced that before — I’ve never experienced that — like, 15 of them hanging off the bonnet of the car.
Q: Surely, it’s only going to get worse after this “Star Trek” film?
A: I hope not. I don’t court it. I think you have to be in certain places at certain times. Of course, promoting a film, you’re out in the public, and I’m proud to do that for the work I’ve done. But I’m quite a private person at heart.
Hilary Fox is a staff writer for the Associated Press