Cumberbatch: Why I couldn't stay straight-faced on The Hobbit set

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Dec 17, 2012

Benedict Cumberbatch gets all the cool acting gigs these days. He's the enemy in Star Trek 2, Sherlock Holmes on the BBC, and heck—he even gets to play a dragon in The Hobbit later this year.

Not a lot has been revealed about Cumberbatch's role as Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit up to this point, though he spilled a few details to MTV about what it was like doing everything from voice work to motion capture for the Lord of the Rings prequel.

"It's a sort of wonderful ongoing process," he said. "I spent a lot of time recording voice as well as doing movements. So it was sort of freeing; it was fun. It was like playing a game. It's going to be an amazing film; it's going to be a real treat. I watched The Lord of the Rings again before I started working, and the way those films grow in depth of craft on every level are extraordinary. Their mark is for that."

The biggest problem he had on set? Holding in the giggles when pal and co-star Martin Freeman showed up in costume as Bilbo Baggins.

"It was great. I got to hang out with him, and I kept a straight face for a bit and then I started giggling because I know Martin, I don't know Bilbo," Cumberbatch said. "For Martin to be sitting there playing Bilbo is amazing. He's going to be amazing, he's going to be fantastic in this film."

Though he did get to hang out with the cast some, Cumberbatch said he spent the brunt of his time locked up doing motion capture for Smaug and a mystery character he wouldn't let out of the bag.

"As far as the experience, what an extraordinary one it was, because at the time I was in my work; I was in isolation with him and this incredible tag team," he said. "And at the very cool place with that technology doing mo-cap for two characters, Smaug the dragon and another character, which will remain nameless, and it was an awful lot of fun."

The first part of the two-part series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opens on Dec. 12.

(via MTV).