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Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug
Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug
Benedict Cumberbatch at work

Acting is not like other professions. There are days when you are pretending to be a man (or woman) of enormously high status (or breeding), dressed in the finest clothes available to humankind, sucking in your cheeks and looking regal. And then there are days when someone glues Cheerios all over your face and invites you to puff your cheeks out like you’ve just swallowed a hot bullet made of jam.

Benedict Cumberbatch is not immune to days like these, especially when he had to get ready to play the dragon Smaug in the Hobbit movies, and thankfully, there was someone there to record every glorious moment.

Flickr user Tolkienerd has a gallery of shots, taken from backstage footage of Benedict pulling some astonishing Smaugfaces so that the graphics department could animate his face and body language to the words coming out of his mouth. And of course, each one is astonishing: a veritable smaugasbord, if you like:

Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug

I mean, sure, it’ll need a bit of colouring in and some shading, but we’re basically already there, aren’t we?

Oh, and in other Benedict news, the gangster thriller Little Favour, for which there is a trailer in which Benedict takes an enormous hiding, is now available for pre-order. It will be released fully on November 5.

And if you think Benedict’s predeliction for doing impressions of Alan Rickman on chatshows has gone unnoticed by the great man himself, you are wrong.

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By Fraser McAlpine