Devoted Benedict Cumberbatch fans will know what’s it’s like to have the Sherlock star’s rich, sonorous voice echoing around their brains, so they’ll empathise with Martin Freeman who admits he “had Ben’s voice in my head” while he was filming scenes for the Hobbit sequel The Desolation of Smaug.
Freeman’s Hobbit Bilbo Baggins shares several scenes with Cumberbatch’s animated character, the dragon Smaug, but with Cumberbatch’s performance restricted to the sound studio and the green screen, the two were never in the same room together.
Freeman had the dragon’s lines delivered by a dialect coach but always had his co-star in mind. “I’m familiar with Ben’s voice and Peter [Jackson] had played me his read. So I had Ben’s voice in my head while I’m getting the dialogue from Leith,” said Freeman. “So at least we were able to do something live.”
“[Benedict] had recorded his stuff before I goy there for this last block. And I had Leith, our dialect coach, reading in this sort of amplified mic. It was all done with her voice, very, very loud, and me reacting to it,” reports Yahoo! movies.
And it seems Freeman is doing rather a good job of trusting the voices in his head, with producers ensuring the filming schedule fits around his Sherlock commitments.
Freeman jokes, “I don’t know how self-effacing I can be and it not sound like absolute bulls***. Yes, they love me. I can’t help it. I said it. It’s an amazing compliment and one that I still find quite hard to fathom. It was like my agent was playing a joke on me when he said, ‘They’re going to put it into different sections so you can do Sherlock.’ Very weird.”
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be in cinemas from December 13 2013