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startrekbenedictThe identity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in the new Star Trek movie has been the subject of much debate. Is he Khan? Perhaps an old villain reborn? Someone from the original series back for revenge? The secret will likely hold until the film’s premiere, but one thing that is certain is that Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing the villain in a Star Trek movie.

“Of course he is,” I hear you say. “Who would turn that role down?”

Well, Benedict had a few concerns, until he ran into two Next Generation Trek alumni who set his mind at ease. As Brent Spiner, or Lt. Commander Data to his friends, tells it the meeting went something like this:

My family and I went to London, New Years, and we were eating in a restaurant with Patrick [Stewart]. Called The Ivy, which is an amazing place, it’s a theater restaurant that people have been coming to since Noel Coward and Olivier and all those people.

We saw Benedict Cumberbatch across the room. He was sitting with Eddie Redmayne, I don’t know if you know who Eddie is. Anyway, Benedict saw Patrick and myself and he came over to the table.

And he said, “I have to talk to you.”

And Patrick said, “All right, call me.”

He said, “No, no. I have to talk to you now.”

“What is it?”

And he says, “I’ve just agreed to do the new Star Trek movie.”

“No, really?”

“Well,  [dramatic pause] is it going to damage my career?”

And I said, “Let me tell you something Benedict, you’ll never work again after this.”


Benedict’s audition also turned out to be quite unconventional. According to Spiner:

“Javier Bardem was being courted to play the villain in the new Star Trek movie. And, apparently he asked for too much money, and they were haggling, and they couldn’t… And Benedict made a video on his iPhone and sent it to J.J. Abrams, and he was cast that day.”

Javier Bardem’s performance in Skyfall was brilliant and nuanced and surprising in all the best ways. But choosing between the two – Benedict Cumberbatch seems born to play a Star Trek villain.

Interview Source: Nerdist Podcast


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