Benedict Cumberbatch has described the email he received from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asking him not to work on movie The Fifth Estate as “respectful, considered, articulate and polite.”
Sent by Assange just before filming on the project began, and released to the public yesterday evening by WikiLeaks, the email said the film would be a “bad idea” and could “distort events.”
“I emailed him, which was quite scary, and he emailed back to say ‘don’t do the film’ on the day before we started filming. That was interesting. He was respectful, considered, articulate and polite about it and I emailed back equally, and hopefully, considerate and polite, saying why I thought it would be a good idea to tell his story,” Cumberbatch told Graham Norton on his BBC show.
When asked if he was worried about continuing with the role, he said: “I guess he could mess with my life, but he’s got bigger fish to fry.”
Defending his choice to take on the role of such a controversial character, Cumberbatch said: “He is a revolutionary of journalism and what anyone wants to throw at him as a character assassination comes after the fact that he made us question what the status quo is, the rule of law and power structures that are corrupt or needed exposing. He served democracy a great turn I think. WikiLeaks opened a very good can of worms.”
The Graham Norton Show is on BBC1 at 10.35pm on Friday