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'Star Trek's' new villain Benedict Cumberbatch: 'Gullible,' easily 'embarrased'

May 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM ET

Benedict Cumberbatch isn't a name widely recognized in the United States yet (except for fans of PBS's "Sherlock" mysteries). But it soon will be, thanks to his starring role as the villain in the new "Star Trek Into Darkness" movie.

But that name -- well, it's causing him a bit of embarrassment lately. First off, his British fans have named themselves "CumberB------" and he won't even use the name on television, as he explained to TODAY's Natalie Morales and Billy Bush on Friday: "I call them the Cumber Collective, in the sense that it's a group of people rather than a specific other name that they give themselves."

He's also had to get used to seeing that name on the big screen, and says "it's a bit embarrassing ... it just goes on and on and on" in the film's titles.

But that wasn't the limit to his embarrassing escapades during the making of "Star Trek" -- as the new guy on set, he was tricked by the cast members into believing that the hyper-real futuristic set gave off questionable radiation, which he could protect himself from with "neutron cream" (really just regular Nivea cream). "I was in a gullible mood," he admitted. "I had to dot it around my face, and that would basically keep me safe from radiation, and then to shake off the neutrons.... I'm really embarrassed about it."

For far less embarrassment, check out Cumberbatch in "Star Trek Into Darkness," which opens in theaters on May 16.


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