Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Benedict Cumberbatch celebrates Julian Assange

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TORONTO -- Benedict Cumberbatch says he greatly admires embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Sherlock and Star Trek actor says "there's a lot to celebrate about his achievements."

Cumberbatch plays the controversial Assange in the film The Fifth Estate, which opened the Toronto International Film Festival.

Cumberbatch and director Bill Condon say they strove to portray a three-dimensional man audiences can relate to.

Cumberbatch also appears in festival picks August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave.

TIFF runs through Sept. 15.

Condon says Assange refused to have anything to do with the film.

The Australian free-speech crusader is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London avoiding extradition to Sweden on sex assault allegations.

Cumberbatch says he did not want to impersonate Assange, but rather interpret who he is.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 7, 2013 G2

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