Actor Cumberbatch says Assange letter affected his film portrayal
LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - British actor Benedict Cumberbatch says a letter from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asking him not to do a movie about the emergence of the anti-secrecy website affected his portrayal of him in the upcoming film The Fifth Estate.
Cumberbatch, 37, said in an "ask me anything" interview on content-sharing site Reddit on Friday that he was concerned with playing the part after Assange sent him a letter in January declining an invitation to meet in person and urging him to rethink his involvement in the film.
"To have the man you are about to portray ask you intelligently and politely not to do it gave me real cause for concern, however, it galvaniSed me into addressing why I was doing this movie," Cumberbatch said in response to a user asking him whether Assange's letter affected his role in the film.
Assange's letter, dated Jan 15 and published on the WikiLeaks website on Wednesday, called the actor a "hired gun"and criticiSed Walt Disney Co's DreamWorks studio for using "toxic" source material as a foundation for the film, based partly on the 2011 book Inside WikiLeaks by Assange's former lieutenant Daniel Domscheit-Berg.