Benedict’s Bond inspiration

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Penguins of Madagascar character is very James Bond like, but also “chaotic and useless”.

The 38-year-old actor voices high-ranking animal CIA agent pooch known as Classified in the upcoming animated movie, a spin-off from the popular Madagascar franchise. His alter ego’s job for organisation ‘North Wind’ is to protect the penguins and help them stop villain Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world.

Benedict was thrilled to offer his vocals for the role and channeled his British roots for the part.

“I kept it English, kept it near to my voice and I hope a lot more pomposity than I know I have in my waking hours and non-working hours. But [Classified is] very professional, he’s in control of it,” he explained to British TV show Lorraine. “He’s got a wonderful kit and knows how to seduce and control and plan – he’s all the things that Bond should be but he’s also incredibly frustrated, chaotic, useless and in desperate need of help from penguins… The penguins from the first two films are just winning characters and it’s great to have them front and center.”

There was a certain 007 star Benedict was influenced while voicing the dog – star of The Living Daylights and License to Kill, Timothy Dalton.

“A bit of Timothy Dalton in the voice, I recognize it, which I didn’t intentionally do but I just heard a little bit of ‘Get into the car’, serious Bond,” Benedict mused. “But there’s no hmmm Roger Moore, there’s no Daniel [Craig] and there’s no (puts on Scottish accent) Sean Connery.”

Benedict was speaking from Comic-Con in San Diego, where he attended this weekend for the first time ever. Also in attendance at the event was Cate Blanchett, who spoke about reprising her role as elf Galadriel in The Hobbit franchise following the success of The Lord of the Rings.

“So much has happened to us all, personally and professionally, since the first time round and then to step back on set, in a way you never thought,” she smiled. “I never, never thought I’d get a proper chance to play that character again. The same wig, slightly more aerodynamic ears, but the same character relationships.”

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