Though best known for his roles as motion capture characters, British actor and director Andy Serkis believes the art-form he has spearheaded is still very much the same as traditional acting.
Serkis, who came to wider public prominence with his much-lauded appearance as Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, says during the 20 years since he appeared in the Tolkien epic MoCap - or performance caputre - has became better understood by the industry. Though after playing Gollum, he didn’t expect to become so closely associated with the technology that enable his performance.
“I always had a desire to be a storyteller visually,” says Serkis. “After years of doing theatre and then television, and then into film. At the end of The Lord of the Rings, I thought my life would kind of return to normal, and I’d go back and be a conventional actor.”
When Jackson asked him to play King Kong in the remake of the 1930s classic, it was a huge realisation for Serkis: mocap wasn’t going to go away.
“This piece of technology, this way of working, was a 21st century tool to enable an actor to play anything, and to become anything,” he says. “Having played a small, three-and-a-half-foot hobbit with a passion for rings, and then to be asked to play a 25-foot gorilla who discovers that he can have a relationship with another being on this planet suddenly made me realise that typecasting was over.”
Serkis will be at IBC2019 to receive the IBC International Honour for Excellence Award for his work with the production company - The Imaginarium. It will be the star’s first visit to IBC.
He explains: ”I’ve never been to IBC before. I’m excited to see the show. I know that there are extraordinary amounts of very, very talented and forward-thinking creative people and companies. I’m really excited about seeing what’s on offer, not just for me in my industry, but also to see what else is out there.
“I’m also looking forward to catching up with lots of the people who we’ve been talking to and making connections with.”