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A season of Cumberbatch starts with ‘Fifth Estate’

October 11, 2013 • Entertainment


This image released by Dreamworks Pictures shows director Bill Condon, left, with actor Benedict Cumberbatch on the set of “The Fifth Estate.” (AP Photo/Dreamworks Pictures, Frank Connor)

TORONTO (AP) — It was the day before shooting began on “The Fifth Estate” when Benedict Cumberbatch, as he was trying on blond wigs for the last time, heard back from Julian Assange, the man he was to play.

Through friends of the WikiLeaks creator, Cumberbatch had reached out to Assange. The letter (which WikiLeaks has since posted online) starts out cordially, with Assange complimenting Cumberbatch’s work. But he then levels a warning: “I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film.”

Assange went on to say, at some length, why the movie, based on two books Assange disputes (Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website” and “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assanges War on Secrecy,” by British journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding), would do harm to him, WikiLeaks and whistleblowers around the world.

“It winded me quite a bit,” Cumberbatch said in an interview shortly after “The Fifth Estate” premiered at the Login to read more

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