What is it with all these British actors?! Why are they so good? Why do they have such amazing voices and characters? I don’t know, but hey, I don’t think I can complain about it.
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t amazing actors in other parts of the world. We definitely had some great ones that have graced the screen about 10 or so years ago in the little film trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Viggo Mortenson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, and Liv Tyler are all from the U.S. The lovely Cate Blanchett is from Australia. Billy Boyd is from Scotland. All great actors who played their parts quite well.
But still, there’s just something about those Brits. Which brings me to the casting of 2 characters of the upcoming film, The Hobbit. First off, we have Martin Freeman, whose credits include a number of comedies such as Love Actually, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and my personal favorite of his, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In case you didn’t know already, Martin will be playing the lead, Bilbo Baggins.
Then we have Benedict Cumberbatch, whose credits include Atonement, and 2011’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and War Horse. He won’t be “seen” in The Hobbit, but his role is quite vital as he’ll be voicing the dragon Smaug.
Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman in BBC's Sherlock
What’s so oddly interesting, coincidental (or maybe not so coincidental), and brilliant is that these two actors were already and will continue to be working together in the BBC modern-day series, Sherlock. Yes, Cumberbatch plays the title role, and Freeman is his infamous “sidekick,” Watson. Their back and forth banter and camaraderie in the series has been met with high praise (I, unfortunately, have yet to see the series myself, but I plan to!)
It almost seems fitting that they would be playing two well known characters in Tolkien’s masterpiece story, albeit enemies, but it works.
Not only that, I had to remind myself how exactly Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice sounded like, so I pulled up a clip of the Sherlock series. The following clip is from when Bilb-, er, I mean Watson meets Holmes for the first time. It’s a fantastic, witty, humorous scene, and I can’t wait to watch and listen to them both on the big screen when the movie comes out.
So, what do you think? Does this get you even more excited about the 2 movies? I know it has certainly peaked my interest more in what Smaug will look like with that voice! More kudos for Mr. Jackson!
For more on what it was like for Benedict Cumberbatch on the filming of The Hobbit, you can check out this TotalFilm article.