Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Technician

£35200 per annum + Pension and holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Engine...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing specialist merchant co...

SThree: TRAINEE RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT - IT - LONDON

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £50k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 bus...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

Page 3 Profile: Benedict Cumberbatch, actor playing Julian Assange

He looks a bit pasty! Is he ill?

No, he’s in costume. It’s Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a new film, The Fifth Estate, due to be released tomorrow.

They do look scarily alike…

Yes, but Assange isn’t worried about finding a lookalike to replace him in the Ecuadoran embassy, where he’s currently holed up. He even wrote Cumberbatch a letter in response to a request by the actor to meet him in person before the film started shooting.

Oh no, first Miley and Sinead, now this.

This letter is done with a lot more panache. Although written in January, it was only made public last night by WikiLeaks. He begins by saying he “would enjoy meeting” the 37-year-old actor, but from there on in he sounds more and more like a villain addressing a meeting of world leaders in a spy movie.

OK, I’m imagining him stroking a big fluffy white cat, sitting on a swivel chair...

Exactly. He writes: “I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film,” and that “it is going to smother the truthful version of events.” It boils down to Assange being annoyed that Dreamworks, the studio behind the film, is basing it on books that he says are “most discredited on the market”. He concludes: “By meeting with you I would validate this wretched film”.

Does Cumberbatch regret getting involved now?

Unlikely. The actor isn’t a stranger to activism himself and he’s had his fair share of hefty roles. Since graduating from the University of Manchester, he’s played Stephen Hawking, Sherlock Holmes, and will play code-breaker Alan Turing in a film next year. He’s also found time to give an anti-austerity speech at a TUC rally and support pressure group Liberty.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'