Does Benedict Cumberbatch identify with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after portraying the controversial man? The Star Trek Into Darkness star channels Assange in the new thriller The Fifth Estate, in theaters October 11, and he tells ET that the real-life inspiration is a "provocateur" who "defies categorization."
"I tried to talk to him or meet him but he didn't want to condone the film by doing that," Cumberbatch tells ET, saying that he was hoping to make a three-dimensional portrait of the man, rather than have it be one-sided. "He's a provocateur. Is he reckless, is he responsible? All the judgements I've been asked to make of him, I defer to my performance in the film. He's quite a remarkable individual, so I think he defies easy categorization -- is he a goodie or a baddie?"
Kind of like The Social Network meets All the President's Men, The Fifth Estate traces the early days of the brains behind WikiLeaks.org, the whistleblowing website that found overnight success – and infamy – with the release of a series of controversial, history-changing and classified information leaks.
Also starring Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi, Daniel Bruhl, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander and Carice van Houten, The Fifth Estate is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) and is based on Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy.