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

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.

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.