By now, you are probably aware that Benedict Cumberbatch is starring as the titular surgeon-slash-sorcerer in Doctor Strange. But it turns out that the actor had a second, less-publicized role — and a particularly villainous one at that.
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson sat down with Empire to share a few key details about the trippiest Marvel Cinematic Universe film yet, revealing everything from his original choice of villain (Nightmare) to the artists he wanted for the end credits music (Jimi Hendrix or Pink Floyd). But Derrickson’s most surprising revelation was the identity of the actor playing Dormammu, the malicious ruler of the Dark Dimension.
It turns out that Cumberbatch actually played the giant cosmic baddie, providing both Dormammu’s voice — blended with another actor’s to help disguise Cumberbatch’s distinct baritone — and facial motion capture.
“The reason for that was threefold,” Derrickson explained. “One, Benedict suggested it. [Two,] the awesomeness of his voice — he was Smaug, of course. [Three,] he understood exactly who Dormammu was. He’s the ultimate cosmic narcissist. There was something great about the mirrored relationship between the two of them.”
Doctor Strange, which also stars Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams, debuted to a stellar $85.1 million domestically over the weekend. Worldwide, it’s raked in almost $332 million.
Read more from Derrickson at Empire.