Benedict Cumberbatch's father impressed by Hobbit role

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The first of three films based on an adaptation of the 1937 novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It will star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. Several actors from The Lord of the Rings will reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood & Orlando Bloom. Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.

August 25th, 2012

Benedict Cumberbatch's father was thrilled when the actor landed a role in 'The Hobbit'.

The 'Sherlock' star made his father proud by scoring the role of sinister dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson's big screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved classic because he used to read the book to him as a child.

Benedict told HELLO! magazine: ''It was the first ever story that I properly remember and my dad used to do all the characters when he was reading it. Such fantastic memories. He was over the moon when I told him I'd been cast.''

The 36-year-old actor physically portrays the dragon - which has been re-worked using CGI technology - as well as voicing the film's menacing villain, the Necromancer.

Benedict was encouraged to pursue his dream by his parents, who are both actors, and thinks their decision to send him to posh boarding school Harrow is responsible for his current success.

He explained: ''I was cast in so many amazing plays at Harrow and encouraged by some incredible teachers to blossom as an actor that there came a point where there was really nothing else that I could imagine doing.''