Neil Patrick Harris practicing Benedict Cumberbatch's name

Neil Patrick Harris is worried he might mispronounce a nominee or performer's name when he hosts the Academy Awards later this month and has been practicing saying Benedict Cumberbatch's name "2,086 times" ahead of the Oscars.

Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris has already practiced saying Benedict Cumberbatch's name "2,086 times" ahead of the Oscars.

The 41-year-old actor, who is set to present the prestigious awards ceremony in Los Angeles on February 22, has been putting the hours in to make sure he doesn't mispronounce a nominee or performer's name.

He said: "I've always been keen on diction. And inflection. And pitch. And pace. We reveal a lot about ourselves by the way we communicate verbally. So there's quite a bit of vocal warming up."

Asked how many times he has said 'Cumberbatch' in front of the mirror, he replied: "2,086 times."

The former 'How I Met Your Mother' star also doesn't want to offend anyone with his jokes at the ceremony.

He said: "I don't like to be mean. It's such a celebration for everyone; I think it should stay positive and buoyant. Why, after getting nominated for a friggin' Oscar, would you want to get heckles? Not my thing."

Neil is thrilled that his 'Gone Girl' co-star Rosamund Pike is nominated for Best Actress and can't wait to see what she wears to the event.

He added to PEOPLE magazine: "She is one of the most stunning women I've ever seen, so I'll probably be drooling. Lady Pike can do no wrong in my book."

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