Why Benedict Cumberbatch loves all those snarky <em>Grinch</em> billboards

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

Universal has been making good on this adage in the run-up to the release of The Grinch with a series of downright grinchy billboards mocking everything from people’s acting aspirations to Los Angeles traffic jams. They’ve been popping up all over giving city dwellers a good laugh as the Grinch pokes fun at stereotypes of their home metropolises with phrases like “Good luck finding parking” and “I am contractually obligated to be here.”

But it’s not just audiences who are getting a kick out of The Grinch‘s marketing campaign. The film’s star Benedict Cumberbatch, who voices the titular green Christmas-hater, tells EW he is a big fan of them himself.

“I love them,” crows Cumberbatch. “It’s so cruel. It’s great to understand his nature. It’s great that he doesn’t just exist in a mean vacuum. It’s great that he has this wonderful journey and is transformed. He has this lovely ride in the picture, but you’ve got to enjoy his meanness.”

John Lamparski/Getty Images

Cumberbatch thinks the billboards are a stroke of genius for getting adults into theaters, as the new take on the animated classic isn’t only targeted to children.

“The billboards are a very adult way into enjoying what The Grinch is about,” he laughs. “I get a real vicarious thrill out of knowing my green alter ego [is] looming over everyone in traffic being rude. That really makes me very happy.”

The Grinch hits theaters Nov. 9.

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