Posted on Thursday, December 5th, 2013 by Angie Han
Earlier this week, J.J. Abrams finally admitted what so many Star Trek Into Darkness viewers had been thinking: that refusing to reveal the villain’s true identity in the run-up to the release was a big mistake. But of course, Abrams wasn’t the only person affected by the decision to keep Khan’s name under wraps.
The writers, producers, and actors all had to participate in the lie — which we imagine must’ve been uniquely challenging for Benedict Cumberbatch, who actually played John Harrison a.k.a. Khan. In a new interview, the actor weighs in with his own thoughts on the Khan ruse, as well as his reaction to Abrams’ recent statement. (Hint: it involves the word “dickhead.”) Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
While interviewing Cumberbatch, IGN asked for comment on Abrams’ recent admission that keeping Khan’s true identity a secret was a big mistake. “What a dickhead,” the actor laughed. “I mean, the amount of times we had to lie for him. The amount of secrets, the amount of times I had to not talk about it being my character. God damn him.”
Once he got more serious, though, Cumberbatch thought the secrecy enhanced the theatrical experience, at least for some folks.
I don’t know if it’s a bad or a good thing. It was his call. I was fine with it. The intention was to have the reveal for the audience that was going to be thrilling, people were going to go, [gasps] ‘Really!?’ And that worked to an extent, ’cause not everyone knew what they were in for when they went into the theater and some people wanted to join in that thrill of seeing it and experiencing it in the theater rather than having it spoiled from reviews or Internet gossip or trailers that gave everything away.
So, who knows? For those people, I would say it was a good thing. For anyone else who wants to find out, you know, there are always ways of finding out. And people have their hunches. But I sat in a couple of theaters … and both times, it was like, [gestures] ‘Yeah! Whoa!’ There was a verbal and physical reaction to it. So I was like, well, there, it kind of works.
If you want to watch the video for yourself — because really, watching Cumberbatch call Abrams a dickhead is kind of fun — click play below.