Tuesday 12 December 2017

Cumberbatch makes Comic-Con debut

John Malkovich and Benedict Cumberbatch attend Comic-Con in San Diego
John Malkovich and Benedict Cumberbatch attend Comic-Con in San Diego

Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich have each made their Comic-Con debuts - as themselves and as their first animated characters.

The two actors were in San Diego to offer an early look at DreamWorks Animation's Penguins Of Madagascar, a sequel to 2012's Madagascar 3. They revealed they had only just met one day earlier as each did their voice-recording sessions alone in a sound booth while making the film.

"I was promised that I would be in a room with actors at one point or another during the making of it, and we haven't had that experience yet. John and I were both moaning about that. I was really gutted about that, because I was really looking forward to working with the penguins and John," said Benedict, who drew screams from the audience every time he spoke.

The Sherlock star, who called John "a legend of acting" and an "extraordinarily brilliant man", continued: "I'm a huge fan of him and yet the first time I meet him is to question him in a mockumentary about what it's like to be an evil octopus. Not really the conversation I'd imagined having with a star of stage and screen."

Benedict plays a wolf in the film - a super spy who runs an organisation called the North Wind, which protects animal welfare.

T he 38-year-old joked that he went undercover to prepare for the role, saying: "I worked in Yosemite for a long time. Then I joined a wolf pack and became the alpha male within about three weeks of the four months I was there. Then it got sticky when I realised the other wolves were Christian Bale and Daniel Day-Lewis and I had to back off."

He admitted it wasn't easy "getting rid of the wolf": "Taking it on is a joy but retraining myself to use the bathroom properly and eating habits are difficult, especially when cats are nearby."

John plays the villain - an evil scientist octopus named Dave - whom he said looks like his youngest sister.

"She's going to have to learn about this," he said. "I didn't even call her before."

He added: "He (Dave) is a happy, lazy psychopath. I was never asked, and this seemed like a fun idea."

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