Julian Assange’s becoming a Cumberbitch, but he still hates Benedict’s accent

A month ago, Benedict Cumberbatch made some comments about his soon-to-be-released film, The Fifth Estate, where he plays Julian Assange. Cumby has been talking about Assange a lot, obviously, although he says that Assange already hates the film and that Assange refused to meet with him in person. Cumby also said:

“I’m sure [Assange] will go after me. … I’m not a bank with offshore accounts in the Canaries, I don’t fiddle my taxes, I’m not wanted for war crimes. If he goes after me, it’s going to be a waste of his extraordinary talent. But if he does, I kind of respect that because he needs to be able to answer back… Anyway, the Cumberbitches have got my back, so I’ll be fine.”

“I hope if I’ve done well, I’ve probably humanized someone that many people only think of in tabloid headline terms. He’s an extraordinary figure. The movie was just the opportunity to try and unlock a little about who he is and what motivates him,” says the actor, who reached out to Assange for input on his portrayal but was rebuffed. “I don’t want to upset him. So if I do, it will be distressing. But he knows that. I have communicated that to him, let’s put it like that. It’s not like we’ve had a correspondence, but I’ve made it known to him that I’m not some kind of devious character assassination where I play him as a villain.”

[From EW]

Well, I never thought Benedict’s Cumbertastic charms would work on Julian Assange, but it looks like Assange might have a thing for Sherlock curls after all. Assange has made several statements about the film and about Benedict over the past few days, and while not all of the statements are complimentary, it does feel like Assange is slowly coming over to The Cumber Collective.

Julian Assange has taken a shot at the actor playing him in the film based on the Wikileaks saga, The Fifth Estate. Speaking via video link from his base at the Ecuadorian Embassy, Assange told The Feed’s Marc Fennell that he found Benedict Cumberbatch’s attempt at an Australian accent “grating”.

“We’re all used to foreign actors trying to do Australian accents and it’s so grating on the ear,” he told the SBS 2 show. “When you hear a Brit trying to do an Australian accent and your own accent, I can’t tell you how grating it is.”

Assange, who is currently running for a position in the Australian senate, was less critical of Cumberbatch “as a man”.

“He says the director’s instructions to him were to make me appear to be a sociopathetic megalomaniac. That was the US director’s instructions to him, which he went ‘What the hell? I’m not going to do this, that’s wrong.’ So he’s tried to push back against it.”

When Cumberbatch asked Assange if he could meet him in the Ecuadorian embassy, Assange refused, “because I didn’t want to legitimise the film”, but even he isn’t immune to the legendary Cumberbatch charm. Assange says: “Benedict Cumberbatch is personally supportive,” and they are said to exchange emails regularly. According to a source: “Assange now thinks Benedict better understands his actions and motivations.”

Cumberbatch has called it “a great privilege to portray the guy — a really incredibly complex human being. WikiLeaks is an extraordinary evolution in media.”

[From The Standard & The Daily Telegraph]

So, Assange hates to hear Cumby attempt his weird half-Australian accent, but Assange still feels like Cumby understood him on a deep level, and Cumby was looking out for him? That’s really interesting. I was kind of hoping that Assange would be pitching a fit from here until the Oscars (just because that would have been fun), but it looks like Assange is actually sort of flattered, right?

Macleans also has an exclusive interview with The Fifth Estate director Bill Condon where Condon is trying to claim that Assange might be surprised by how well his life gets treated by Cumberbatch’s portrayal.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

32 Responses to “Julian Assange’s becoming a Cumberbitch, but he still hates Benedict’s accent”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. lady_luck says:

    Oh please don’t let him into Australian politics!!!! Ugh. Nooooo way. I hope the Australians have more sense than that……………………………….

    • Jessica says:

      I voted for him yesterday (early voting centre).

      • Lucrezia says:

        Yeah, I voted early and for wikileaks too. Due to the preference allocation scandal, I ended up voting below the line … which meant ranking all 69 contenders.

        The funny thing is that in yesterday’s Scar-Jo thread, there were a few people saying compulsory voting is bad … but also saying that in their country there’s no-one to vote for. That’s the great thing about the Aussie senate system: definitely plenty of options. On the other hand, I’d have liked a crib sheet listing the basic platforms. There were a few that I’d never heard of (Shooters and Fishers party?).

    • The Wizz says:

      Vote Wikileaks in the senate folks!

    • v says:

      I think either the Greens or Wikileaks actually will make a dent in the Senate – at least I hope so! In a two party preferred system where both major parties are participating in an embarrassing race to the bottom regarding asylum seekers and refugees we need voices of a more humanitarian bent.

      • Allons-y Alonso says:

        Between Wiki Leaks and The Greens making a dent in the senate, I’d put my money on the Greens. They have been really pushing these last few years, especially with a minority government.

      • Lucrezia says:

        The way the senate voting works means that Assange will get the 6th Victorian seat if Wikileaks gets just 4% of the primary vote.

        That’s certainly achievable, but not definite (Greens might edge him out).

        My prediction: The Libs will win the lower house, but the Greens will continue to hold the balance of power in the upper house. Assange might get the Victorian senate seat, but I’m nowhere near as confident about that.

    • Aussie says:

      My vote is going to Assange. 100%

  2. Jessica says:

    Assange never pitched a fit in the first place. He just didn’t choose to meet Cumberbatch before or during filming, because he couldn’t know then what the film would be like. If it paints him as a megalomaniac sociopath and he’d met with Cumberbatch, people would be able to say, well, Assange practically endorsed the portrayal. He’s been burned before, he’s not stupid enough to make the same mistake again.

    He never said a bad word about Cumberbatch (other than the comment about the accent, which he’s right about), just the source material (which has been largely discredited btw, so fair enough), and Cumberbatch has been saying for ages that he has been in contact with Assange, and it’s all been perfectly friendly. That first quote by Cumberbatch was clearly said in jest.

  3. Allons-y Alonso says:

    I remember seeing that show on SBS. As an Aussie, I think Batchy’s accent is fine. He’s spot on with Assange’s speech pattern (kind of lispy and a little drawn out on some of the vowels).

    @ Lady _Luck Re: The federal election. There is no way in hell that Assange’s Wiki Leaks party is going to even make a dent in Saturday’s election….especially after that God awful video he did dubbing John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’ song *shudder*

  4. Sixer says:

    I’m not an Aussie so can’t really vouch for the accent, but I do think Assange is a double whammy to play – accent AND weird voice.

  5. Tish says:

    Assange’s idiolect is very hard to nail.

  6. Abby says:

    I am so bloody eager to see the movie. Cumby and Daniel better not disappoint me.

  7. Sandy says:

    Every time I see the title of this movie, I can’t help but think of this: ‘The Fifth Estate, Tuesday at 8. 8:30 in Newfoundland on CBC.’ Are there any other ’80s generation Canadians who know what I’m talking about? I just can’t not hear it, lol.

  8. boredbrit says:

    Don’t hate me for saying this butI think Assange is hot. My friends were like wtf when I told them.

    • Michelle says:

      I agree! I think he’s hot too. Never thought so when I saw him in photo’s, but I saw an interview with him and swooned because of the way he talks and moves. It might be the fact that he has such a stressfull life and still is super calm in conversation, nonchalant even.

      • Lauren says:

        I know what you mean. It’s his sense of justice and courage that appeals to me, I think. I find his fearlessness attractive.

    • Felice says:

      Sort of like BC!!

  9. Hannah says:

    I agree about the accent it is grating. But apart from that I can’t wait to see the movie. I know benedict will make assange 3 dimensional.

  10. SE says:

    Did Cumby really, finally acknowledge us as Cumberbitches, after initially refusing the term and insisting that we’re “Cumberpeople”?

    • mended says:

      i think he was just being cheeky.

    • EleanorRigby says:

      EW said he did, indeed, say “Cumberbitches” but he was speaking jokingly. He doesn’t like the term, he’s said it many, many times. I enjoy the debate as to whether it is a degrading name for a fan base or not. For me, personally, I say I’m a member of the CumberCollective. But that’s just me. I think the fans have the right to name themselves whatever they want.

  11. Katie says:

    I actually don’t care for Assange, but this is good.

    A responsible biopic shows the subject as human, with good and part parts. People won’t take the movie seriously if Assange comes off as a one-dimensional villain.