“I was very lucky [to work] with Pete [Jackson],” said Cumberbatch. “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.
“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.
“It’s a sort of wonderful ongoing process, 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.”
Filming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which hits cinemas 14 December 2012, also renewed Cumberbatch’s appreciation for The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
“I watched The Lord Of The Rings again before I started working,” he admitted, “and the way those films grow in depth of craft on every level are extraordinary. Their mark is for that.”
Finally the actor revealed how surreal the experience was of working with his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman, who plays the central role of Bilbo Baggins.
“It was great,” Cumberbatch enthuses. “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. 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.”