Highwire Act

by Tony Shea on April 20, 2013


Andy Serkis

While Andy Serkis has portrayed a variety of characters in the flesh during his career, including Albert Einstein and new wave icon, Ian Dury of “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll” fame, undoubtedly he will be most remembered for the remarkable characters he has “created” through performance capture, and more specifically his collaborations with director Peter Jackson in the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies, as well as King Kong and The Adventures of Tintin. De Niro and Scorsese, Depp and Burton, Serkis and Jackson, great actors paired with great directors, swinging on the trapeze high above the crowd. Therein, five great motion capture performances from Andy Serkis, who turns 48 today.

1.Lord of the Rings

Serkis’s work as Gollum was extraordinary and raised many questions about whether a motion capture actor should be nominated for an Oscar. We say yes. In this side by side comparison, you can see how Serkis produces the character of Gollum and how Gollum appears in his final CG glory.

2. The Hobbit

Serkis reprises his role as the revolting, slimy, twisted Gollum in the Hobbit trilogy.

3. King Kong

Twas beauty that killed the beast, but Serkis who played him.

4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Serkis was again pressed into service in the role of an ape, this time in the film directed by Rupert Wyatt.

5. The Adventures of TinTin

Peter Jackson produced this film, directed by Steven Spielberg, again making the call to Andy Serkis to play the role of Captain Haddock.

Tony Shea ( Editor-in-Chief, New York)

Tony Shea is based in New York, having recently moved from Los Angeles after more than a decade on the sunny coast. His short films have won numerous awards and screened at major festivals around the world including Comic-Con. As a musician, he is the lead singer for Los Angeles rock n’ roll band Candygram For Mongo (C4M) candygramformongo.com who has been a featured artist on Clear Channel Radio’s Discover New Music Program and whose songs have been heard on Battlestar Gallactica (Syfy Channel) and Unhitched (Fox) among other shows and films.

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