Serkis details the intricate nature of playing an ape
CGI supremo Andy Serkis made his name in the motion capture game with Golem, one of the more memorable characters to emerge from Peter Jackson’s expensive Tolkien trilogies, which comprise both The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit.
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, out this Friday
Golem, a feral creature, shares many physical characteristics with the titular apes in Dawn of The Planet of The Apes – the extremely well-received sci-fi sequel set for release this Friday. Speaking to Entertainmentwise, Serkis outlined the specific challenges involved in bringing his character, Caeser, to life, and making the apes’ evolution seem believable and realistic.
"One of the biggest challenges of the whole rehearsal period leading up the shoot, Matt [Reeves, director] wanted to drop in at a period of time where they weren't full evolved, where they weren't sitting around having a philosophical conversation so we could enjoy the evolution. With that though of course came the challenge of that they were going to be speaking in this film and how do you make that feel real, in terms of the internal logic of the piece, how does that work,” he explained.
"All of the actors playing apes, there was a lot of improvisation, there was an ape camp so to speak in the sense that there was a lead up in rehearsal where we worked out how they would work as a group, how they communicated. You've got subspecies, you've got orangutans you've got gorillas and you've got chimpanzees so everyone had their own ape vocalisations which they mastered."
Serkis, who not only takes as the lead as Caeser, is fascinated and intrinsically involved in the digital mastery behind CGI and motion capture. "This is the digital dress up box of the actor" he explained to the gossip site. "Acting for me has always been about transformation, it's a about saying something about the human condition whilst trying to inhabit the space of the body or the mind of a character which has progressively has got further away from what I actually am."