How Benedict Cumberbatch Became Smaug In 'The Hobbit' Proves Everything He Touches Turns to Gold
Well, it is official. Everything Benedict Cumberbatch touches turns to gold, and this time, I mean literal gold. You remember Cumberbatch in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, right? He played Mr. Smaug himself. OK, maybe I shouldn't refer to a giant dragon as Mr. Smaug, but common on, its Cumberbatch's voice, so the name deserves to be classed up a bit. In a new feature that will be available on the Extended Edition Blu-Ray for the film — out Nov. 3 — the behind-the-scenes making of Smaug is revealed, and truly, it just proves that Benedict Cumberbatch was the best choice for Smaug, if there ever was a doubt.
In the new footage, Cumberbatch can be seen lying flat on his stomach, wearing a motion capture suit and a ton of motion capture points on his face to grab facial movements, as he speaks — actually, more like slurs — the lines of the dragon. Peter Jackson, the director of the film, says they wanted someone who was going to do something unexpected and original in their take of Smaug, which is clearly what Cumberbatch did for the character. Check out the clip to see how Cumberbatch was transformed into Smaug.
It's pretty incredible that, not only does Cumberbatch use all of his body and face to act out a enormous dragon, but the editing team was able to make Cumberbatch into the character. Take a look at a finished scene from the film to compare.