‘I became the alpha male’: Benedict Cumberbatch’s unbelievable wolf story

SAN DIEGO – Even with credits in fan-favorite films and shows like “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “The Hobbit” and “Sherlock,”  Benedict Cumberbatch has never attended the San Diego Comic-Con… until now. The English actor dropped by for a lively panel for Dreamworks Animation, for his voice acting gig in “Penguins of Madagascar.”

And he didn't fail to impress the adoring crowd in Hall H.

The actor's best material came during the audience Q&A, and with silly banter with moderator Craig Ferguson. He described what it took for him to “become” his part in “Penguins” — a wolf named Classified who runs his own undercover agency with “the whole Bond pastiche.”

“You have to go undercover for a long time. I worked in Yellowstone Park as a wolf for a while, I was accepted by a band and things got hairy — no pun intended — when I became the alpha male,” Cumberbatch deadpanned. “About a month into it I realized that two other wolves were Christian Bale and Daniel Day-Lewis.

“Going to the bathroom, that's a new education, and eating habits are a little difficult… Don't put a kitten in front of me.”

Good. So Cumberbatch knows to give the audience what they want. Ferguson reworked the question, asking if he enjoyed the embodiment experience.

“I like to use my body.”

Another audience member was flummoxed as to what question she should ask Cumberbatch, after her original question was already answered.

“Ask me what my shoe size is,” he beamed. Then quietly, “It's a whole other arm.”

Another fan wanted to hold it together as she addressed him at the mic.

“I'll try not to cry,” she said, tearing up.

“We'll cry together,” he soothed.

Here are some other fine moments from Cumberbatch during the panel:

What made him want to take on the role? “The pedigree of the studio's work. They make me laugh.”

What TV shows, books and media influenced his creativity as a child? “The Hobbit,” actually. Plus, “The A-Team,” “Werewolf,” and “Nightrider.”

Will he come back to Comic-Con for “Sherlock” next year? “Possibly, possibly, possibly.”