Benedict Cumberbatch, Bill Condon And The Fifth Estate: How To Make A Biopic About Julian Assange

By Sean O'Connell 2013-10-18 17:21:33discussion comments
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How do you make a movie about someone who's not only an important world figure, but someone who doesn't want a movie made about them at all? How do you play a guy who's changing all the time, and whose complicated view of the world has changed media forever? How do you make a movie about two guys typing on laptops interesting period?

Benedict Cumberbatch and Bill Condon learned this firsthand making The Fifth Estate, a new drama in theaters this weekend about the founding of Wikileaks, and how Julian Assange (played by Cumberbatch, an eerie doppelgänger for the man himself) turned the organization into a giant force, but alienated his friend and co-founder Daniel Berg (Daniel Bruhl) in the process. It's a complicated story with massive consequences-- with Chelsea Manning still in prison, we're still very much living in Julian Assange's world. The Fifth Estate, based on a book that Berg wrote, describes how the organization began and how it fell apart-- and how Assange, rife with paranoia and a sense of his own grandeur, managed to push away the one person who believed in him whole-heartedly.

At the Toronto Film Festival back in September Sean talked to Cumberbatch and Condon about the many challenges of the film, from dramatizing a story about a website to playing a guy who doesn't think he needs a biopic at all. For more on the movie you can read our review here, check out the film in theaters this weekend, or just watch Sean's interviews below.




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