Benedict Cumberbatch felt like “a complete knob” playing Smaug in The Hobbit films

Apparently motion-capture acting isn't the most glamorous way to earn a living

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has attracted plaudits for his motion-captured role as evil dragon Smaug in The Hobbit film series – but apparently the experience was a bit embarrassing.


“You get in the gear and feel a complete knob. Wandering around in these sparkling pajamas,” the actor said at the world premiere for the third instalment last night.

However, he said that the technology was also “really good fun”, and was later seen chatting on the red carpet with fellow Hobbit mo-cap experts Andy Serkis (Gollum) and Manu Bennett, who played Orc villain Azog in the trilogy, presumably swapping ping-pong ball war stories.

Cumberbatch added: “It’s the most extraordinary technology, unlike green screen which can be really demanding.”

“Playing this extraordinary character and just imagining everything.”

You can see a clip of the Sherlock actor doing motion-capture work for Smaug below – and see whether you agree with his assessment of his appearance in that fetching leotard…

Cumberbatch also said the Hobbit premiere had given him his “weirdest fan encounter [he’d] ever had.”

“It’s amazing, I just signed someone’s dragon-headed tongue.” He added: “That’s what so amazing about these nights. It’s a celebration for the fans.”


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be released on 12th December