Benedict Cumberbatch Loved Being Mean In 'The Grinch'

Perpetual nice-guy Benedict Cumberbatch said he got a real kick out of playing iconic meanie, The Grinch.

Cumberbatch was recently interviewed by NPR about taking on the role of the Christmas-stealing grump for the new film and said he had "a lot of fun".

Cumberbatch is known for rallying for equal pay for his female co-stars or saving Deliveroo cyclists from getting mugged -- so it must have been wild for him to get inside the mind of the cartoon villain.

The English actor-- known for his work in Sherlock and The Avengers -- explained the "vicarious thrill" he got when stepping into character as the Cumbergrinch.

"It's lovely being mean," he confessed.

"It's great fun. I wouldn't, myself, go about knocking the heads off snowmen, or taking a jar away from a woman who's trying to reach to the top shelf to get it, and then put it back out of her reach," Cumberbatch added.

READ MORE: Benedict Cumberbatch Says He Won't Accept Roles Unless His Female Co-Stars Get Equal Pay

"But I quite like playing those things, because watching them, you get a vicarious thrill out of it."

Cumberbatch told NPR his first bit of research involved consulting Dr Seuss' classic book, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. 

"As far as getting into character goes, it really was the book I went off first, and then we realised, oh Christ, he's just really mean. He's very kind of growly and snarly — that would take some enduring for an entire film, it would be a bit scary for kids.

"So we decided to remind ourselves that he really, really enjoys Christmas," said Cumberbatch.

The Last Grinch film came out nearly 20 years ago -- when Jim Carrey gave us this slightly terrifying live-action version that also featured Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski and Taylor Momsen.

The new Grinch -- which is animated, thankfully -- also stars Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Angela Lansbury and narrator Pharell Williams.

The Grinch is set to hit Australian cinemas on November 29.

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