An ordinary person might understandably get jitters about playing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a movie. After all, he’s a guy who has tussled with banks, political groups, and even governments and lived to tell the tale. But as any self-respecting Benedict Cumberbatch fan — or “Cumberbitch,” as some call themselves — knows, the Brit actor is anything but ordinary.
The Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness star donned a series of white wigs and fake teeth to play Assange in The Fifth Estate (out Oct. 18), a drama that tracks Wikileaks’ rise to power. And he jokes that, thanks to his fans, he’s fully prepared for Assange to open fire. ”I’m sure he’ll go after me. … I’m not a bank with offshore accounts in the Canaries, I don’t fiddle my taxes, I’m not wanted for war crimes. If he goes after me, it’s going to be a waste of his extraordinary talent. But if he does, I kind of respect that because he needs to be able to answer back,” says Cumberbatch. “Anyway, the Cumberbitches have got my back, so I’ll be fine.”
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