Probably the most renowned motion capture (green screen) actor working today, Andy Serkis took the relatively new acting technology to a whole new level when he starred as Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, and as Caesar in the recent revamps of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Even when he’s not acting in front of the screen, Andy Serkis has been used as a motion capture consultant in such major league productions as 2014’s Godzilla.
As special as all those films are, however, starring in the new Star Wars film is certain to bring Andy Serkis’ stardom to a whole new level.
About getting a role in the JJ Abrams-directed Star Wars Episode VII, Andy Serkis told SciFiNow, “It’s extraordinary. I grew up with Star Wars and was a massive fan of the original films. I never imagined in a million years that I’d be engaging with this. It’s just come about so organically.”
Andy Serkis said he clicked with Abrams right away.
“JJ Abrams and I met, and we just had this incredible kind of vibe between us. He said, ‘You’d fit really well into this universe,’ and I said, ‘I think I probably could.’ We’re working very closely, as I say, in two ways: the Imaginarium is providing all of the performance characters, and I myself am playing a character in it.”
The Imaginarium that Andy Serkis is speaking of is a creative digital studio based in Ealing, England, that Serkis created in 2011 with film producer John Cavendish. Andy wanted the Imaginarium to specialize in believable, emotionally engaging digital charcters using Performance Capture technology.
Continuing about his Star Wars experience, Andy Serkis said, “I’m thrilled. Deeply excited. Sitting at that read-through the other day was just extraordinary. It was an amazing event; being with the original cast was just incredible. I think the script is so wonderful, and both the old and the newbies in the cast are just so thrilled and excited to get together.”
Andy Serkis recently spoke – and joked – about the secrecy surrounding the Star Wars set on an episode of Conan O’Brien.
In addition to Star Wars, the Planet of the Apes films, and the Hobbit trilogy, Andy Serkis is also a consultant and playing a role in the upcoming, Avengers: Age of Ultron, as reported by Variety.
Andy Serkis can next be seen on the big screen on July 11th as Caesar, in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.