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The Letters Live annual event, which we’ve talked about in earlier posts, matches up celebrities with letters typically written by historical figures, and has them read aloud. It looks like this year there might be a bit of a change up.

Benedict Cumberbatch recently read a letter written by Tom Hanks, at the age of 18, to the late director George Roy Hill. The letter is just over 40 years old, so, yes, this could fall under the term “historical,” technically. It’s just a little different than what we’ve seen before, including letters written by Virginia Woolf, Alan Turing, Queen Elizabeth II and Leonardo da Vinci.

Cumberbatch not only reads the letter from the future Oscar winner but does his best Hanks impression; it’s quite, er, impressive.

You can watch the video via Vimeo over at The Independent.

The event will take place this coming October 4 – 8, and the guest list is strictly top-secret but guaranteed to be packed with celebrity talents. Cumberbatch, who has been a surprise guest in the past, provided this preview reading as a bit of a tease to get people excited in advance of the big event.

The Sherlock actor talked about the upcoming performance, saying, “Letters Live is a truly unique experience that allows people from all ages and all walks of life to experience a moment of time in someone else’s life for a brief moment,” reports The Independent.

That’s a really nice way to look at it.

He goes on to say, “Hearing their letters read aloud in such a magical setting allows us to share the happiness, sadness, excitement and pain of that moment together. I can’t wait to see what letters are discovered!”

And an even nicer description of the setting, we feel like we’re in the audience.

In addition to Cumberbatch, previous letter readers included Sir Ian McKellen, Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Jack Whitehall, Carey Mulligan, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Oscar Isaac and Louise Brealey.

Who would you match up for the series?

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By Brigid Brown