Cumberbatch reveals how Star Trek helped Weta cut corners on The Hobbit

Actor lets slip that his work on Star Trek Into Darkness helped Hobbit film-makers bring fire-breathing dragon Smaug to life.

A full body scan of Benedict Cumberbatch by the effects boffins behind 'Star Trek Into Darkness' helped Peter Jackson bring Smaug the dragon to life in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'.

[Cumberbatch scolds journo for asking 'silly questions']

Cumberbatch, who is the voice of Smuag and was also motion-captured for the role, told Yahoo Movies that his more recognisable turn as Khan in 'Star Trek Into Darkness' from earlier this year helped play a small part in bringing the fire-breathing villain to the screen.

Smaug... Cumbatch lends his voice and body movements to Tolkien's famous dragon (Credit: Warner Bros.)"There was a laser body scan that I'd done for Khan, for certain things that they needed it for in Star Trek." Benedict explains. "I shot this ['The Hobbit'] just after starting filming for Khan in LA."

"[The mo-cap suit] took a little while to get on, but it was nothing compared to what most of the other guys on set had to go through."

The scan was then used by New Zealand special effects maestros Weta to create a mask which could be used for the extensive motion capture that Cumberbatch performed to help bring Smaug to life.

[JJ Abrams regrets keeping Star Trek's Khan secret]

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the most in-demand actors of the moment with his name appearing in the credits for five feature films in 2013 alone.

Don't expect Smaug looks anything like the villain of JJ Abrams' 'Star Trek' sequel, but it's a fun bit of movie trivia to think about when you see 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' in cinemas worldwide from December 13th.