'Star Trek' Baddie Benedict Cumberbatch Reveals Role's Biggest Challenge

'I did have to physically remove myself on a couple of occasions,' he tells MTV News of trying not to get too close to the group offscreen.

In "Star Trek Into Darkness," Benedict Cumberbatch plays John Harrison, a would-be terrorist who sets his sights on Starfleet for reasons that may lead to intergalactic war.

But joining an ensemble cast whose collegial familiarity with one another is palpable both on and off screen, Cumberbatch said he struggled occasionally to keep his villainous character separate from folks he would otherwise characterize as friends.

"The only hardship of playing that kind of a character is that I did have to physically remove myself on a couple of occasions," Cumberbatch told MTV News. "To just get my game on, set my head straight and realize that there was glass, literal and figurative, between my character and their characters."

Cumberbatch said he deeply admired the familial energy shared by the actors who starred in the first "Star Trek." "As a fan of the first one, it so came across, and that was the joyous thing about it," Cumberbatch explained. "You thought you'd known these characters, not just because you were re-creating iconic characters from this franchise, but because of the chemistry between you. And it just seemed effortless, because you were being so bold, and such light touches at the same time."

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"Star Trek Into Darkness" was directed by J.J. Abrams, who helmed the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot and helped develop the ensemble that is now associated with the franchise. Abrams credits great casting directors and collaborations for the natural chemistry his actors share onscreen. "The extraordinary casting directors helped us find these actors that literally were a dream to work with," he said.

"You can't look at any one of them in a vacuum," he added, explaining how important it was that every actor contributed to the ensemble as a whole. "You have to say, 'Well, how does he or she work with everyone else?' And the beautiful thing was that, to a person, this cast was elevating every scene they were in -- the best version of what it could have been."

Check out everything we've got on "Star Trek Into Darkness."