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OTRC: Martin Freeman on 'Hobbit,' Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch: 3 highlights

Martin Freeman talks to OTRC.com about the 2013 movie 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.' He plays Bilbo Baggins in the film, the second in Peter Jackson's trilogy. Pictured left: Benedict Cumberbatch talks to OTRC.com about the film. He provides the voice of Smaug the dragon.

Martin Freeman may not have gotten to act alongside "Sherlock" co-star Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," but he did keep the actor in his thoughts.

Freeman plays main character Bilbo Baggins in the movie, the second installment in Peter Jackson's trilogy, a prequel to "The Lord of the Rings." Both are based on J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels. Cumberbatch provides the menacing voice of villain Smaug the dragon, whose animated image was created in his likeness thanks to motion capture technology. He recorded his lines in a studio.

Check out 3 highlights from OTRC.com's interview with Martin Freeman and watch the full interview by clicking on the videos, above.

1. Martin Freeman: Benedict Cumberbatch's voice is in my head ...

Cumberbatch plays Sherlock Holmes in the British TV series "Sherlock," while Freeman plays his friend and sidekick Dr. John Watson (see sneak peek PHOTOS of season 3, which premieres in the U.K. on Jan. 1).

When asked if knowing Cumberbatch helped him perform his scenes with Smaug, Freeman told OTRC.com: "I think it did."

"It helps conjure up the voice that you're responding to in your head," he said. "So it's not Ben's voice [on set] and it's not Ben's presence but I know his voice pretty well so ... that's in your head when you're reacting."

2. On balancing darkness and humor ...

"It gets dark I think when it needs to and light when it can be," Freeman said. "I mean Pete always likes to inject some humor in there, he likes the presence of humor and silliness, he likes fooling around. But ultimately, I think the story has to have high stakes and it has to mean something otherwise, then it's just .. 'Anchorman' in Middle Earth."

3. On the theme of "The Hobbit" trilogy ...

"It's about themes ... that we can all relate to and it's all about things that are all about our nature of being alive, you know, like good and bad, loyalty and family and love," he said.

"The Hobbit: THe Desolation of Smaug" is set for release on Dec. 13 (watch the trailer, above). The third film in the series, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," will be released on Dec. 17, 2014.

Reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, which produces the nationally syndicated entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).

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