Benedict Cumberbatch talks The Hobbit

Benedict Cumberbatch has been discussing his upcoming work on Peter Jackson's The Hobbit , telling Collider about what will be a very physical role as Smaug the dragon.

Smaug is The Hobbit ’s big bad, and Cumberbatch will be donning a performance-capture suit to truly bring him to life when he makes his way to the New Zealand-based set this January.

“I’m physicalizing him as a dragon,” begins Cumberbatch. “I’m not just doing the voiceover, so it’ll be a physical role which I’m no stranger to. I did Frankenstein at the beginning of the year with Danny Boyle at the National Theatre and playing the creature in that was a very full on and sort of corporeal experience.”

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch has already started hitting the gym in anticipation of the physical rigours demanded by performance-capture.

“I’ve already started working out,” he says, “and doing various movement exercises to get myself limber for that all-important jump suit with balls on it, otherwise known as motion-capture. But I can’t wait, I’m really excited. I go to film it in January.”

We cant wait to see what Jackson does with his fire-breathing antagonist, but with Cumberbatch joining proceedings sooner rather than later, perhaps we’ll get some Smaug-based goodness in the next production diary. The Hobbit is released in the UK on 14 December 2012.