Andy Serkis Quotes.
Performance capture is a tool that young actors will need in the next 10, 20 years. It’s on the increase, as you say. It’s not going away.
J.J. Abrams is an all-time hero of mine, really lovely to be working with him.
Gorillas have a belch vocalization, which is sort of like, ‘I’m OK, you’re OK.’ They do a pig grunt, which is reprimanding. They sing, they laugh, and they hoot, which grows into a chest-beating display.
I had a cat called Dizz, after Dizzy Gillespie.
A lot of people have asked me to do answer phone messages for them.
I had to relearn how to ride a horse like an ape. I had to change how I jumped off and how I gripped them with my thighs and distribute my weight differently.
I spent a lot of time on my own working out the physical vocabulary for how Gollum moved. As I say, I drew on a lot of Tolkein’s descriptions of how he moves, but also the conceptual artist sketches.
Gollum is entirely based on the notion of addiction. The way that the ring pervades him, makes him craving, lustful, depletes him physically, psychologically and mentally.
Gorilla tourism is vital to Rwanda’s economy: It’s the third highest source of income.
Actors’ performances in films are enhanced in a million different ways, down to the choice of camera shot by the director – whether it’s in slow motion or whether it’s quick cut – or… the choice of music behind the close-up or the costume that you’re wearing or the makeup.
Just being an ape is a workout.
Put it this way: If I had to go back to 1968 and wear the makeup that John Chambers made for the original ‘Planet of the Apes’ series, I think I would rather wear a unitard.
Our family were outsiders, and I’ve always had a sense of the outsider, the underdog, and a strong sense of justice towards people who are excluded.
If you are not moved by the character, no amount of CGI will give you a performance that is emotionally engaging or devastating – what a live-action performance does.
In terms of animation, animators are actors as well. They are fantastic actors. They have to draw from how they feel emotionally about the beat of a scene that they’re working on. They work collaboratively.
When we, as humans, articulate, our tongues tend to hit the back of the teeth.
I’ve been on stage and been an actor for many years and used different mediums.
I had a body wax. It’s the most painful thing I have ever done in my life. I had every single hair on my body pulled out, and I really bruised.
I am a bit evangelical, I know, but performance-capture is still misunderstood.
What’s fantastic is that there’s a real growing appreciation for performance-capture technology as a tool for acting.
You’ll very rarely find that you can enhance a performance to give it a real emotional centre and truth… after the fact.
An actor finds things in the moment with a director and other actors that you don’t have time to hand-draw or animate with a computer.
The fact of the matter is I have done so many parts.
People used to say, ‘Andy Serkis lent his movements to Gollum,’ and now they say, ‘Andy Serkis played Caesar.’ That’s a significant leap.
And ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’ was a very transitional film for me in that I was one of the producers and you know, came up with the idea with the writer and the producer, as well. But, it was a very collaborative event. You know, I really love working in that way.
It has been great portraying Gollum, but it will be great to see my face on screen for a change.
When you do animation – well, straightforward animation, although it’s not straightforward – the voice for a character or something, they’re always singular experiences, really.
If I hear someone say something, and they’re 100 per cent about it, then it’s almost inevitable that I’ll take the opposite view. I guess I feel at odds with things like society. Absolutism is always a trigger for me.
We’re live in a world that has, in many ways, become desensitized and unable to empathize with other cultures and species. The dangerous part is that we objectify others and have somehow removed ourselves, mentally, from the very planet we inhabit.
I think when actors run away from their work that they’re slightly crazy, really!
If it was a great script and a great character, I would love to do a romantic comedy.
When you have children, you realize that at the end, it’s all about passing on, about handing down.
I’m a shockingly bad sleeper. In bed very late. Awake at the crack of dawn.
J.J. Abrams and I met, and we just had this incredible kind of vibe between us.
Looking back, when I was Gollum, I suppose I did break the mold to a certain extent. I’m proud, and very thrilled, to be a part of that.
I believe that when people experience an event as a community, it can transcend and change people’s lives.
I expect at some point I’ll probably want to go back on stage and do some theater, because I’ve not done theater in 10 years.
I do listen to myself sometimes and think, ‘Is my moral compass so easily swayed by the characters I play, or is it me growing as a human being?’
When I first was offered the role on Rise [of the Planet of the Apes], I always played Caesar as a human being within ape skin.
What you can do with visual effects is enhance the look of the character, but the actual integrity of the emotional performance and the way the character’s facial expressions work, that is what is going to be created on the day with other actors and the director.
I’d already started directing short films when we were doing ‘Lord of the Rings,’ then videogame projects. So Peter’s known that I’ve been heading towards directing for a long time. But I always thought my first outing would be a couple of people and a digital camera in the back streets of London somewhere!
I do have anger management issues. Not clinical. Probably no more than most people.
When I’m working on the scripts or working with the other actors or rehearsing with the director, and when the director is cutting the movie, and we’ve shot the scene, the director is not looking at the visual effects.
I think I spend most of my time not living in reality, actually.
You could go so wrong with a ‘Planet of the Apes’ reboot; you could make it melodramatic, you could make it campy, you could fall into so many traps with it.
I guess I just tend to feel at home wherever I go.
I think we can be very narrow-minded in this country; you see something that someone’s done and immediately want them to do the same thing again – but if they don’t, they’re criticised for not doing the same thing again, but if they do they’re just repeating themselves.
When you come out of the other end of a long process, working with a character [you realize] this character has really shaped my ideas.
What’s wonderful about Tolkien and Shakespeare is that they show up your own individual microscope. They’re so infinitely vast. You can reinterpret them in so many ways. Each age will have its own resonance with Lord of the Rings.
Gollum’s never really gone too far away from me because he’s indelibly kind of printed into my DNA now, I think.
Great actors like Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page and Samuel L. Jackson will go and do a videogame, because they understand that storytelling isn’t just necessarily about filmmaking.
Working with and collaborating with and for Peter Jackson was an incredible experience because he is such a phenomenal filmmaker.
In ‘Tintin,’ it’s like a live-action role. You’re living and breathing and making decisions for that character from page 1 to page 120, the whole emotional arc. In an animated movie, it’s a committee decision. There are 50 people creating that character. You’re responsible for a small part.
I do love nature, but I don’t suppose I’d spent more time in zoos as a child than anyone else!
I enjoy high-speed about-turns in thought.
My livelihood depends on the art of animators.
[Greek] Theater started off and used masks and Kabuki, in the East, they used mask-work. And then, Commedia dell’arte in Italy and then, you know, we’re part of an acting tradition and, and performance capture is no different.
There’s a huge gulf between people who can afford to go to drama school and those who can’t.
The thing is, I don’t just take roles because they’re performance capture.
Before I became an actor, I was a visual artist, and I’ve always hankered for the storytelling behind the camera.
When I was in theater I was forever trying to inhabit a space which puts yourself under the microscope as an actor and your personality and your take on life, but actually through another portal of a character.
Be magnificent. LifeвЂ™s short. Get out there. You can do it. Everyone can do it. Everyone.
I’m in the early stages of a film called ‘Freezing Time’ about Eadweard Muybridge, the Victorian photographer who was really the forefather of cinema. Digital animators still treat his images like the Bible. He was a very obsessed man.
If ‘The Hobbit’ happens – and there’s reason to believe that it will – then I think I’m in with a chance! Gollum is very much part of ‘The Hobbit,’ after all.
If you’re in a motion-capture studio, you have spherical, reflective markers, which are picked up by cameras that emit infrared – it reflects it, and then the cameras pick up the data.
My first job when I got my equity card was acting in 14 plays back-to-back. Playing that many roles, you look for ways of differentiating the characters physically, which goes hand in hand with understanding them psychologically.
Not a day goes by where I’m not reminded of Gollum by some person in the street who asks me to do his voice or wants to talk to me about him. But because ‘The Hobbit’ has been talked about as a project for many years, I knew that at some point I’d have to reengage with him.
My take is that acting is acting. A performance is a performance. With performance capture, if you don’t get the performance on the day, you can’t enhance the performance.
Did you happen to catch the film I did between ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Kong?’ It was a nice little Jennifer Garner comedy, ’13 Going on 30,’ and I play her boss. In my big scene, I get to moonwalk – pretty well, I thought – to Michael Jackson.
You never really know why you become an actor: it’s a visceral thing, an emotional thing.
Acting is a sort of pressure cooker that allows the fizz to come out the top. God knows what I’d be like if I didn’t have that.
Originally, I thought, ‘Gollum’s such a fantastic character, why are you doing him CG? Surely you need to be able to humanise him as much as possible – he’s so full of pathos and real emotion.’
Gorillas are still wild creatures. That’s made very clear when you observe them in nature. They charge and perform other displays that are terrifying by design. But they don’t attack unless they feel threatened.
It was a fairly happy childhood. My father was working away, and my mum brought up five kids all on her own.
My dad was working abroad, in Iraq, and he was a doctor. We used to go and visit him, in Baghdad, off and on. For the first ten years of my life, we used to go backwards and forwards to Baghdad, so that was quite amazing. I spent a lot of time traveling around the Middle East.
Nowadays, there’s no such thing as a stable job.
Everybody thinks performance capture is about thrashing around and doing a lots of movement, but it’s actually about being able to contain and think and be believed in a close-up, as much as anything else.
I’m a Mac user. I think it depends on how you were brought up, and I was introduced to Apple quite early. They’re certainly the best for visual stuff and film-directing.
I’ve been writing and wanting to direct for a long time.
I play saxophone, I play tenor sax.
I understand why people went nuts for ‘The Artist.’ We use words so much, it’s nice to be able to explore a different way of communication, to be able to express silently what someone – or something – is thinking or feeling.
I don’t see a difference between playing a performance capture role and a live action role, they’re just characters to me at the end of the day and I’m an actor who wants to explore those characters in fantastically written scripts. The only caveat is a good story is a good character.
I love acting and certainly won’t give it up, but it’s part of a bigger canvas for me now.
My natural bent is to have an overabundance of energy, and motion-capture essentializes your every breath, your every move. Seeing yourself through that mask, you realize how far you can pull back and make the performance even more powerful.
I think my mum wanted me to join the army or something, or become a surveyor – something with good career prospects.
The art of transformation is a very important thing to me, and I always believe I can say something more truthful through characters that are further away from me.
When you have children, you realize that at the end it’s all about passing on, about handing down. The process of letting go, not attachment, but appreciating the beauty and value in the change, the transformation.
‘The Hobbit’ was one of the first biggish books I ever read. I remember vividly the ‘riddles in the dark’ passage, and it meant a lot to me to finally get to play it after all these years.
For me, I’ve never drawn a distinction between live-action acting and performance-capture acting. It is purely a technology.
As long as you have the acting chops and the desire to get inside a character, you can play anything.
But I think there’s something wonderful and extraordinary about climbing on your own and just that kind of relationship to the environment. I’m very addicted to the mountains. You know, so, I do like that solitude.
For film and games, there is now a fantastic method of actors portraying characters which don’t necessarily look like themselves. And yet you’ve still got the heart and soul of the performance.
In performance capture roles, it’s not a committee of animators that author the role, it’s the actor. I think that’s a significant thing for people to understand.
Performance capture, for me, is finding the essence of a performance.
I want to link together ancient forms of storytelling and the future.
Performance capture is a technology, not a genre; it’s just another way of recording an actor’s performance.
I think that Gollum is really the character who is a very human character, and he’s very flawed, like most humans are, and has good and bad sides.
Gollum is Gollum – though in ‘Lord of the Rings’ he’s 600 years old and in ‘The Hobbit’ he’s 540, so he looks a little bit more handsome.
Playing a character in a video game is different to other performances because your character can’t lead the audience of players in one direction.
People think, ‘Oh, well how can ‘The Hobbit,’ which is one book, become three films?’ But you can take one line from an appendice and it turns into a whole sequence.
The process of acting is no different [playing human or ape]. You’re embodying the character. You’re creating the psychology and the physicality. You’re living the moment.
Having done a lot of theater, I’m used to sustaining characters over long periods of time.
The great thing about performance capture is you can go off, and then, without changing costume, you can become another character.
I stayed in Baghdad every summer until I was 14. My dad’s sister is still there, but many of my relatives have managed to get out. People forget that there are still people there who are not radicalized in any particular direction, trying to live normal lives in a very difficult situation.
Thank God for Skype!
The fact of the matter is that an actor, if I’m playing a performance capture role and you’re playing a live action role and we’re having a scene together, there’s no difference in our acting processes.
As soon as you do it, actors realize there is no difference playing a performance-captured role or a live-action role.
Originally when I went off to work on ‘The Lord of The Rings’ I got a call from my agent saying that I was just going to do a voice. But I couldn’t really approach it like that. To get Gollum’s voice I had to play the character.
Britain has enormous amount of talent, as we’ve seen from the BAFTAs. It’s all here, and it has to be allowed to flourish.
Games aren’t going to go away. BAFTA’s got a category for games as an art form. The Academy should think about that, too.