I don’t know how Benedict Cumberbatch does it. He plays almost exclusively characters that don’t emphasize attractiveness or sex appeal in any way, shape, or form, and somehow comes out of it seeming even more alluring and appealing than when he went in! He has to be some sort of wizard. Take, for example, the most recent example — his portrayal of Julian Assange, the controversial creator of the whistle-blower site Wikileaks, in the first trailer for the upcoming The Fifth Estate.
Benedict 100% should not be attractive in this movie. He has shoulder-length platinum blond hair ala Lucius Malfoy, an Australian accent, and that whole hazard to national security rap to beat, and still AND STILL he we get to the end of the trailer and I’m like, “Yeah, I’m up for it.”
The film, directed by Bill Condon, follows the life of the hacker turned journalist and documents his constant desire to make the world into a more transparent place, with a free flow of information through every layer of society, from the White House down to the common man at his computer. If you’re up-to-date with the real life story, you know that Julian and Wikileaks were ultimately responsible for uncovering fraud at an Icelandic bank, leaking a classified video of a 2007 Baghdad airstrike that shows the deaths of two Reuters cameramen at American hands, and leaked over 90,000 diplomatic cables. It was arguably one of the largest leaks in United States government history.
The project, and Assange himself, initially had the support of the media, but as his fervor increased and his desire to unmask the world’s secrets deepened, his ego began alienating the people around him. As Benedict says in the trailer:
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. But if you give him a mask, he will tell you the truth. If we can find one moral man, one whistle blower, someone willing to expose secrets, that man can topple the most oppressive of regimes.”
This are the words of an intense man. A man who allowed his convictions to become larger than himself. A controversial figure whom you’re supposed to spend the whole film getting to know and then form your own opinions about. Except he’s just Benedict Cumberbatch…aka I’ve already decided.
In addition to your dream boyfriend, The Fifth Estate also stars Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney, and ye olde betrayer of hearts, Dan Stevens. It will magically appear in theaters on October 11th. Also maybe the conventional way, but there’s no knowing until it gets here, y’know?