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Assange asked Cumberbatch not to play him in film

1 of 1 Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed that he received an email from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asking him not to take part in The Fifth Estate.

The actor plays Assange in the film and he told The Guardian he received a ten-page email from him before shooting commenced in January.

"It was a very considered, thorough, charming and intelligent account of why he thought this was morally wrong for me to be part of something he thought was going to be damaging in real terms- not just to perceptions but to the reality of the outcome for himself."

Cumberbatch continued, "He characterised himself as a political refugee, and with Manning awaiting trial, and other supporters of WikiLeaks who have been detained or might be awaiting detention, and the organisation itself – all of that being under threat if I took part in this film."

"Of course [I wobbled]. The fact that it was coming from the man himself, the day before we started filming? Of course I would hear and feel the protests of the man I was about to pretend to be. I'm a human being."

"I said, 'This film is going to explore what you achieved, what you brought to the world's attention, in a way that I think is nothing but positive. I admit to doing work because I'm a vain actor, yet I'm not acting in a moral vacuum. I have considered this, and whatever happens I want to give as much complexity and understanding of you as I can."

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