Benedict Cumberbatch on Smaug’s Motion-Capture in The Hobbit

Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for playing the title character in the BBC’s “Sherlock,” will be seen in some high-profile big screen villain roles in the months and years to come. He’ll play a still-unknown interstellar foe in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness and will lend voice and movement to the computer-generated Smaug in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. In a new interview with Total Film, Cumberbatch speaks about the latter performance and why we’ll have to wait until the end of 2013 to really experience it.

“You just have to lose your s–t on a carpeted floor, in a place that looks a little bit like a mundane government building,” he says about donning the motion-capture outfit. “It was just me as well, with four static cameras and all the sensors. Then the boys at Weta work their magic… It’s very freeing, once you put the suit on and the sensors. I’ve never felt less encumbered, actually. And you have to be. You have to be free.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will hit the big screen on December 14th of this year, but the main focus of Smaug will be the second chapter, appropriately subtitled The Desolation of Smaug. For that one, fans will have to wait a full year until December 13, 2013.

“I think my eye will open at the end of the first film,” says the actor, “and then you’ll get the rest of me in the second.”

The final film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again will follow on July 18, 2014.

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