Benedict Cumberbatch says The Hobbit was once a “bedtime treat”.
The 37-year-old actor portrays The Necromancer in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit franchise, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novels.
And Benedict has fond memories of when he was first exposed to the magic of Tolkien’s mystic realms.
“My father read me the books when I was young – around six or seven because I went to boarding school when I was eight,” he recalled to Latinos Post.
“So it was a bedtime treat and when he read the first two chapters it was a beautiful illustrated edition and I could look at the pictures.”
The images have remained fresh in Benedict’s mind for many years.
He credits this bedtime storytelling with aiding him in the development of his movie character.
“So both the pictures and my dad, who was a great actor and colored the book with his reading of it with the most amazing characterization of voices, helped me immerse myself in the world,” he explained.
“It was the first real imaginary landscape from print that I kind of took flight into it and realized every moment of it. I really knew who Bilbo was and Gandalf and all of these creatures. And my father was really amazing at dramatizing them.”
Benedict recalls his father employing Tolkien’s work as some type of parenting method.
He believes The Hobbit has impacted him on many levels of psychological development.
“His reading of Gollum is the one I remember more than other[s]. He used to do it to make me laugh if I was in a grumpy mood,” Benedict recalled.
“I kind of owe this [film] to him and he was the first person I told. And he was thrilled for me. That’s where it started.”
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is now in theatres.
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