Benedict Cumberbatch Discusses His Star Trek Audition Process

By Jenny Xu | 9 years ago

If you had the chance to audition for J.J. Abrams, would you just grab your iPhone, sprint out into the night despite the fact that it’s, say, an international holiday like Christmas Eve, and start banging on the doors of your friends to see if one of them would please do you a favor and record you in their kitchen?

Probably not. Or at the very least, you’d use a hand-held.

But somehow, this unorthodox method worked for Benedict Cumberbatch, who will be portraying “the villain” opposite Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana in the as yet untitled Star Trek sequel.

Here’s what he said about the process in an interview with the New York Times:

And so I ended up squatting in their kitchen, at about 11 o’clock at night. I was pretty strung out, so that went into the performance. And his wife, Alice, bless her, with two children asleep – they’ve got enough on their plate without this actor in a crisis in their kitchen — and she’s balancing two chairs to get the right angle on me and desk lamps bouncing light off bits of paper, just trying desperately to make it look half-decent. Because it’s going to go into J.J. Abrams’s iPad. So we did it, and then it took a day and a half to compress it. I sent it to him, and then I got told, “J.J.’s on holiday. I was furious. And then I heard on the day after New Year’s Day – we had an amazing first showing for [the British season premiere of] “Sherlock,” and then he just sent me an e-mail, going, “You want to come and play?” I said, What does this mean? Are you in town, you want to go for a drink? I’m English, you’ve got to be really straight with me on this. Have I got the part?

Where are your powers of deduction, Sherlock? Even John could’ve figured it out. Of course you got the part. Abrams has learned his lesson though; next time he’ll make sure to do this:

While being surprisingly candid about how he landed the role, Cumberbatch remained staunchly (and unfortunately for all the curious Trekkies) tight-lipped and secretive as Abrams himself about his role in the movie, but the one thing that is for sure is that Mr. Holmes  is definitely no longer on the side of the angels. Leaked photos from the Star Trek set show him battling Spock (Zachary Quinto) and managing to resist the famous Vulcan nerve pinch. How does he do it? Could it be that he has brought a little bit of Sherlock’s ability to defy both death and logic to the Starfleet? Guess we’ll have until Star Trek 2 (and season 3 of Sherlock) comes out in 2013 to find out the truth.