TORONTO

 Reuters

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch didn't get any help from Julian Assange in his preparation to play the founder of WikiLeaks in the film "The Fifth Estate," and guesses Assange probably won't like his portrayal, even though the actor sees it as celebration of the activist's achievements.

Cumberbatch said he didn't have access to the polarizing figure behind the whistleblower website after Assange "stated very clearly at the beginning of the project that he didn't want to condone the film." "I am not a betting man, but I imagine he won't particularly want to support the film," the 37-year-old British actor told reporters on Friday, the morning after the film opened the Toronto International Film Festival to somewhat mixed reviews.

Trade publication Variety called the film "stimulating but overly frenetic" and Cumberbatch's performance "a somewhat one-dimensional turn," although it did praise his ability to "capture Assange's slightly otherworldly air."