The War Horse star heard director J.J. Abrams was interested in casting him as the lead villain in the follow-up to his 2009 blockbuster, so he came up with an oddball idea to have a friend film his try-out on his smart phone late one night.
He tells the New York Times, “I was pretty strung out, so that went into the performance.”
He submitted the clip to Abrams only to be told by an assistant that the filmmaker was on vacation.
But when Cumberbatch finally received a cryptic reply from Abrams a week later, he didn’t know whether to start celebrating or continue to hold his breath.
He says, “I heard on the day after New Year’s Day… He just sent me an email, going, ‘You want to come and play?’ I said, ‘What does this mean? Are you in town, you want to go for a drink? I’m English, you’ve got to be really straight with me on this. Have I got the part?'”
Cumberbatch’s involvement in the untitled Star Trek sequel was formally announced in January (12). He will appear alongside 2009 stars Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto in the new installment, which is set to hit cinemas next summer (13).