Benedict Cumberbatch wears blue velvet in Berlin for ‘Smaug’: would you rub it?


ALL OF THE VELVET. This is second red carpet in a row that Benedict Cumberbatch has worn velvet. Is he being paid in velvet? I would pay in velvet! I WOULD PAY ALL NIGHT. Sartorially, I prefer this blue velvet (in Berlin, at the premiere of Smaug) to the burgundy velvet he wore in LA. I also just think he looks better overall in these photos. He looks naughty. He looks like he warming up his hands so he can touch a lady. He looks like he wants us to rub his velvet. YES.

Back in September, were in the full-flush of Cumberbitching as we had multiple Benedict Cumberbatch interviews and photos to absorb on a daily basis. These days, the load in a little lighter, but I’m still enjoying it. Benedict is promoting The Desolation of Smaug and Sherlock Season 3 (YAY). Anyway, it was back in September that Benedict first mentioned the idea that he would be returning to the London stage sometime in 2014 to play Hamlet. I was happy for him, but also sort of disappointed that he wouldn’t be doing more TV shows and movies for several months (boo!). Anyway, in a new USA Today interview, Benedict confirms the Hamlet gig and gives some additional details, plus he talks about some other good stuff too.

On playing Smaug on motion-capture: “There’s no way I can be a serpent of that size who breathes fire and flies. Even if it was profitable for me to interpret that somehow, I’m a biped. It was up to me to completely imagine being a dragon. It’s child’s play. It’s the most enjoyable fantastic and freeing kind of moment of reinventing what it is to be an actor on camera.

Smaug’s voice: “They are very, very different energies and they both fed into the voice. Smaug had to really be rich and deep and come from the same bowels that create all that fire. Also, I wanted it to be worn — not necessarily old but I wanted there to be an element of it that sounded like hot air being blown over flaming coals rather than a crisp, clean, delicate or fresh voice. I shredded my vocal cords to bits trying to do very weird things. Some guys came and they said, “You’ve already added effects to this, right?” And they went, “No, no, that’s just him on his own in front of a microphone.” They went, “Wow.” That was great. I was pleased to impress that crowd.

Smaug’s a psychopath: “He’s smart. He doesn’t want to just kill the mouse — he wants to know who set the mouse into the lair. He’s got an intelligence and a charm about him that soon degenerates into a venal, terrible vanity and dead-end rage. He’s a psychopath, he can empathize as long as it gets him what it needs. He’s an utterly self-serving and greedy destructive force, but his failings all have a human character. It wouldn’t work as a creation at all if it was just, oh, there’s a beast in a lair. What’s beautiful about the book is he has a personality and if anything his personality is a metaphor for capitalism gone wrong and that stretches across the age, no more so in the last couple of decades in our lifetime.”

Wig work and overexposure: “It’s been incredible, and such a variety of work. Overexposure is always the thing I’m frightened of but it’s just the way it happened. My workload exploded over the last couple of years, but they’ve all come home to roost this autumn. That’s just chance — that’s just how the movie industry harvests, I guess. I remember Jessica Chastain having this kind of a moment two years ago where all that brilliant work she did came out in one sudden moment. It’s an embarrassment of riches, but it’s kept me very, very busy. I’m heading off into Christmas now and getting ready for a nice long break just to regroup and see where to go next. I cannot wait to be on my time and be impulsive and move at my own pace.”

Doing Hamlet: “I know for certain I’m doing Hamlet sometime in autumn on the London stage, and before that there are all sorts of film projects flying around, but the one that looks most real at the moment is Lost City of Z with James Gray.”

Quiet times: “Being home in London’s great when people respect my privacy. You can just take a beat or a moment or two and find there’s still islands of calm in your day anywhere you are. Everyone does that in their own way in work and any kind of life that involves other people. It could be anything. It could be drinking at a sunset for a second or two, it could be going on a holiday to some far-flung place and getting away from it all, and it could be dissolving into a book at bedtime. Or it could just be bedtime. Bedtime’s always nice. (Laughs)”

[From USA Today]

There’s a ton more at USA Today, it was a pretty lengthy interview. I just did the highlights because… well, I don’t really care that much about Smaug. Sorry! I’ll listen all day if he wants to talk about Sherlock or Meryl Streep or Assange, but I think the Smaug stuff is mind-numbingly boring. I did like the bit about his messed up vocal chords though – all for his art! His vocal chords should be insured, like some of the big singers do. Cumberbatch’s voice should be declared one of England’s National Treasures.




Photos courtesy of WENN and PR Photos.

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94 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch wears blue velvet in Berlin for ‘Smaug’: would you rub it?”

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  1. Kiddo says:

    I can’t believe I’m about to say this, because blue velvet and Cumberbatch, but he looks nice, really good here.

  2. Maureen says:

    No, no, no! Not the ill-fitting velvet jacket again. :(

    On second thought, this blue one does fit better than the red one.

    But God, I can’t wait for this movie.

  3. AG-UK says:

    um not loving velvet but looks better than the other he wore a week or so ago. Someone must have had an offer on velvet tux jackets 3 for 1? He looks handsome though.

  4. Colu says:

    “Would you rub it?” made me laugh so hard!

  5. Lark says:

    Why I am I starting to find his otter face hot? Dammit. He’s terribly charming. Rumor is that he’s signed on to Star Wars but they won’t announce it until after the holidays…so that ought to be interesting.

  6. drea says:

    “Bedtime’s always nice.” Mhmmm. Am I reading too much into that?

  7. nico says:

    ” I just did the highlights because… well, I don’t really care that much about Smaug. Sorry! I’ll listen all day if he wants to talk about Sherlock or Meryl Streep or Assange, but I think the Smaug stuff is mind-numbingly boring. ”

    Watch it!!! Don’t piss of the Tolkienites.

  8. eliza says:

    Did that jacket belong to him in high school? Someone needs a good tailor, stat and some blotting papers.

  9. Frida_K says:

    I did love him in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and he does look awfully cute in the velvet.

    Tom Hardy has my heart (and ovaries) though, so I’ll just have to pass on this one.

  10. atlantapug says:

    This guy is so fug, I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

  11. Elise says:

    Kaiser! Cumby’s hot and all, but can you include pictures of the other cast members as well? Aidan Turner, Richard Armitage, Dean O’Gorman are just as hot.

  12. Lindy79 says:

    Looks great here, I prefer the blue to the red, it suits him better.

    I heard there was an awkward interview on the live stream with presenters yammering on but not really listening to him

  13. Hello Kitty says:

    I wonder if he keeps all the velvet clothing after the red carpet events. If we saw his closet, would there be a formal velvet section?

  14. Dawn says:

    Although he looks just fine, I just hate men who wear velvet. It just seems like it’s 1910 or something.

  15. elliebakes says:

    Am I having deja vu or have we seen this post a million times before? How about mixing it up with a few photos of Lee Pace (who is actually, physically in the movie)?

  16. GeeMoney says:

    I still think that all velvet suits should be burned… but I must admit, he looks good here. I’m liking the blue velvet over the burgundy velvet.

    I’m excited that he’s going to be in London next fall… b/c that’s when I’m going to be visiting there as well! Just the thought of possibly running into him on the street or something is making me squeal with happiness (hey, it could happen!).

    • I see ‘velvet suit’ & think Little Lord Fauntleroy. But as you admit, Money, he does look good. He rocks a three-piece like no one else. As for the tailoring, both the burgundy jacket & the midnight one here are tailored as you can see from the handstitching & both have beautiful paisley silk lapels with matching bow ties. The difference in fit seems due to the buttons: the burgundy is one-button & tugs a bit at the waist, whereas the midnight is two-button & sits like a velvet glove.

    • Green Girl says:

      I am with you about the velvet suits, and I agree with the poster upthread that the suits look dated and old-fashioned. That being said, I think I prefer the burgundy velvet, as it had interesting details on it.

      I just hope he gets a much-needed rest from his work!

    • curlsunited says:

      While I would gladly rub it *cough * I wonder where all that velvet is coming from. Is his Mum refurbishing the living room and tossed out her old curtains?

  17. Abby says:

    Tuesday morning made :D . Yes I would rub it lol.

    He looks soooo handsome with this blue velvet. Like everyone else I also prefer this over burgundy one. The US today interview is really lovely especially how he says he’ll take his dad to watch hobbit dying Christmas awwwww the Cumberbtch boys melt my heart.

  18. Miss Scarlet says:

    Slightly OT…on the latest CB Datalounge thread, a poster left this cryptic message:

    “Fangirls and wannabe amateur detectives might want to start connecting the dots between Cumberbatch and Birgitte Sorensen.”

    An interesting, if (so far) unsubstantiated, rumor. However – Birgitte is starring in Coriolanus at the Donmar with Tom Hiddleston (friend of Cumby); she also stars in a Danish drama called ‘Borgen,’ with none other than Sherlock’s new villain, Lars Mikkelsen.

    Nothing solid, of course. Make of it what you will.,13062807,25

    • Lindy79 says:

      Hmm, I’d find it difficult to believe that if there was something going on they wouldn’t have been seen together at some stage.
      Even if the UK paps don’t stalk him yet, he gets seen and approached by fans in London all the time and you just know there would be “he was with a WOMAN!! He was buying perfume for a WOMAN!!” posts, like the ones that followed Ibiza,
      He’s been traveling and working so much over the past 12+ months, I’d genuinely be shocked to hear he was seeing anyone to be honest.

      • Abby says:

        You spoke my mind Lindy. I just don’t think he is dating anyone as he hasn’t had any free time to even socialize with other women. As for this rumour it might be someone who spotted them with a bunch of other people or something and came to this conclusion hurriedly.

      • Joanie says:

        As my dad often jokes, ‘That’s the one thing that men ALWAYS have time for.’ Even if it’s nothing serious. Grain of salt, though. I did read an interview with her as recently as Thanksgiving (I watch Borgen), in which she referred to her boyfriend, some other Danish actor.

    • MissMary says:

      Tom and Brigitte maybe but BC has been really firm about being single and literally said “My work is my life right now” about a month ago in an interview when asked about dating and such.

      • Maureen says:

        I do actually believe BC, too. Sure, anyone could be entertaining a special lady friend at their home or at the homes of trusted friends, all without ever getting caught by press/media/paps. But I think he really is single. He’s been caught out numerous times with male friends while doing social things one would normally do with a girl/boyfriend and yet not a woman in sight. That’s why I believe him. He comes across just like a single guy.

      • Green Girl says:

        I believe that of Cumby right now. The last few months especially have seen him jet around the world, sometimes only staying in a time zone for a day before packing up and moving out again. He’s also been working like crazy, so I really don’t know how he’d have time to really meet someone and date.

      • MissMary says:

        @Maureen and @Green Girl: Part of me also wonders if the Ibiza incident burned him on casual hook ups and/or dating but the more logical part is pretty sure it’s mainly the career thing lol.

    • Good gracious, Miss Scarlet, a thread discussing the Leibovitz photoshoot of BC! On the cover photo (?was it?) the man looks positively louche, one of the sexiest Cumbertakes on record. Thanks for the link to a lively discussion. For what it’s worth, Borgen offers some of the most spellbinding TV of recent years, truly addictive. You can now get the DVDs on Amazon, tho’ I don’t know if there’s an English version available.

    • Yes! I love Borgen! I am SO hoping this is happening. I’ve read interviews with her and she seems really lovely — even apart from her (obviously lovely) looks. He has seemed happier lately, and yes, Kaiser, naughtier. Hmmm…

    • Maggie says:

      My God one anonymous person makes a totally unsubstantiated remark on a gossip site and now it has been repeated on at least two other sites. It is so ridiculous, the mind just boggles. It is like Chinese whispers. This reeks of trouble makers and you can see how rumours and lies spread.
      This is pretty harmless but not all rumours and lies are harmless.

  19. Jellybean says:

    Where are the pics of RIchard Armitage? I just do not see the appeal of Cumby at all, but Richard is a different story completely. I’m sure you could find a few pictures of him too. I’ll beg if I have to.

  20. lambchops says:

    Not even if you paid me in gold bullion. I’d be too afraid he’d abduct me to his alien spaceship.

  21. T.fanty says:

    So, clearly, the whole “new year off” thing is a cunning ruse for his scheduled wife-hunting. Get the Vespa, EsCon! I will need the following accoutrements:

    1- blonde hair dye
    2 – a tweed push up bra. Worst case, I can knit a nice stripey one.
    3 – a box of wine, and a novelty owl goblet to woo Wanda.
    4 – membership to at least three private clubs in Mayfair
    5 -some kind of family crest that makes me appear more of a fancier origin than Essex.
    6- some interestingly patterned dong sweaters that can “accidentally” fall out if my bag when I offer to pay the check.
    7 – the theme from dad’s army on my ringtone (don’t ask me why, but I’m positive that will be the clincher)

    In the interests of expediency, I shall provide the air of intellectual distain, a ginger fantling (as evidence of my superior breeding skills) , and some good whiskey. All I need to do is engage him in a conversation about why The Cemetary at Prague is so obviously superior to Foucault’s Pendulum and he’s ours. There’s only one thing that could scupper this plan, so let’s pray he doesn’t ask me whether he would make a good Hamlet.

  22. EscapedConvent says:

    Hey Fanty & Miss Jane! I have just arrived by Vespa. Had to stop by the yarn store—they’re having a massive sale! Cardigans & socks for everyone!

    Also, I certainly hope Cumby’s not taking a year off. If he does, we’ll have to search the world for the AA meetings he’s had to join. I have a feeling he thinks “a nice long break” is 3 weeks. Besides, doesn’t he start filming in a month or so? There are things on his IMDB page all lined up.

    • T.fanty says:

      Huzzah! We’ll get Miss Jane working! Between that and me teaching the ginger fantling babe how to make a Sloe Gin Fizz, there’ll be no resisting us!

    • j.eyre says:

      I am dashed confused – Fanty, you said your ringtone was dad’s army, yes? Why am I hearing Colonel Bogey March? EsCon, did you switch the Vespa’s horn again?

      This labradoodle and Cumberspawn had better be house trained if I an knitting my fingers to the bones to obtain them. Need I remind anyone of the Chipendale incident?

      And Fanty – I am going to need a tracking number on Tommyanna when you send him back. Curls – see to this for me, will you? Agent MOL has agreed to sign his pink slip over to me but is insisting on a final inspection first.

      *waves at janeite*

  23. alison8761 says:

    Check this vid out! Ben does the Smaug voice and holy shit. I thought his voice was modified a lot for the film, but look what this man can do! it’s in the first 30 seconds. dang, ben. dang.

  24. T.fanty says:

    Changing the subject, almost entirely, I have never seen the film Blue Velvet. It’s currently on HBO go. But the Bobby Vinton song is one of my favorite songs ever – will the movie ruin the song for me?