‘Assange asked me not to make film’
Early in the process of making The Fifth Estate, Cumberbatch emailed Assange hoping that they could meet. He got no response until the day before shooting began, when Assange sent the actor an e-mail begging him not to do the film.
“I was just doing the last fittings for the wig and make-up and stuff, and this very erudite, charming and lucid and intelligent e-mail (arrived), imploring my better nature to step away from the project that he thought would be abhorrent and damaging to his cause,” he recalls.
Cumberbatch wrote back to say it was not a documentary, “it’s not a piece of evidence admissible in a court… It is just a film. It’s not going to be able to shift perception.”
One result of the exchange was that Cumberbatch became Assange’s advocate on the set, demanding that his point of view be aired when others had had their say. – The Washington Post