Benedict Cumberbatch Says Julian Assange's Letter Made Him Rethink His 'Fifth Estate' Role

Benedict Cumberbatch

The British actor admit the letter wherein Assange called the movie 'toxic' and slammed him as 'a hired gun' caused him to second guess his involvement.
Benedict Cumberbatch broke silence after Julian Assange's letter sent to turn down the actor's request to meet in person was published by WikiLeaks. While Assange may not have stopped Cumberbatch from playing him in "The Fifth Estate", it did give the star a moment to question his role in the movie.

"Yes, of course it did," the British actor said on Friday, October 11 during a question and answer on Reddit. "To have the man you are about to portray ask you intelligently and politely not to do it gave me real cause for concern." But at the same time, the letter made him think constructively about why he agreed to play the part.

"It galvanized me into addressing why I was doing this movie," so Cumberbatch explained. He went on to further defend his involvement in the upcoming film, "I'm proud to be involved in tackling such a contentious character and script. There is only personal truth in my opinion, and the film should provoke debate and not consensus."

In regards to Assange's strongly-worded concern about Cumberbatch being used as "a hired gun," the actor reacted, "He accuses me ... as if I am an easily bought cypher for right wing propaganda. Not only do I NOT operate in a moral vacuum but this was not a pay day for me at all. I've worked far less hard for more financial reward."

While Assange said the movie did him nothing but harm, Cumberbatch believed that "the film, quite clearly, illuminates the great successes of wikileaks and its extraordinary founder Julians Assange. As well as, examining the personalities involved and what become a dysfunctional relationship within that organization."

The "Star Trek Into Darkness" actor continued, "While the legacy of his actions and the organizations continue to evolve and only history will be the true judge of where this is leading us. 'The Fifth Estate' is a powerful, if dramatized, entry point for a discussion about this extraordinary lurch forward in our society."

"I wanted to create a three dimensional portrait of a man far more maligned in the tabloid press than he is in our film to remind people that he is not just the weird, white haired Australian dude wanted in Sweden, hiding in an embassy behind Harrods. But a true force to be reckoned with, achieved the realization of the great ideal."

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