Benedict Cumberbatch talks playing Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit

In the latest issue of Total Film magazine , we enter the dragon’s lair to talk to the phenomenally talented (and ever-so-slightly popular) Benedict Cumberbatch.

You can read the feature in the mag, or in our incredible interactive iPad edition (which is only £1.99, folks) , but we’ve got a cheeky excerpt below.

We met up with the exceedingly polite British actor to talk about his astonishing career rise, Star Trek 2 , sex symbol status and more.

On playing The Hobbit ’s deadly dragon, Smaug, via the techno-magic of motion capture, Cumberbatch told us: “It’s very freeing, once you put the suit on and the sensors. I’ve never felt less encumbered, actually. And you have to be. You have to be free.”

“You just have to lose your shit on a carpeted floor, in a place that looks a little bit like a mundane government building. It was just me as well, with four static cameras and all the sensors. Then the boys at Weta work their magic.”

When asked if we’d actually get to see Cumberbatch's handiwork in Part 1 (AKA An Unexpected Journey ), he said: “I think my eye will open at the end of the first film, and then you’ll get the rest of me in the second.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on 14 December 2014.

For more from Benedict Cumberbatch, pick up the new issue of Total Film . And don't forget, our interactive iPad edition is available for just £1.99!

Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.