Elizabeth Entenman
Updated Apr 04, 2016 @ 5:22 pm
Picture of Benedict Cumberbatch Motion Capture
Credit: YouTube

We always knew that Benedict Cumberbatch was an extraordinary actor, but this video proves that he’s one of the best in the biz. He went to great lengths to bring his character Smaug from The Hobbit to life, and we just discovered some extras from the filming process that give us a peek behind the scenes of his acting process.

The video shows a motion capture of Benedict literally embodying Smaug. He’s so committed to the role that he acted out some of his scenes as the dragon himself, really getting inside Smaug’s head and making big choices that helped inform his expressions, emotions and movements.

It’s pretty amazing that Benedict went above and beyond a regular voice actor recording; even simple snarls and head turns make a big difference. Sure, he looks a little bit funny crawling around on the ground wearing a gray suit covered with motion tracking dots. And yes, there’s a camera hovering just a few inches in front of his face. But it adds so much authenticity to the final product.

Watch Benedict in action to see what we mean. Seriously, that voice, that intensity, that commitment—it’s giving us chills.