Is technology the end of Hollywood typecasting?

The Lord Of The Rings star reprises his role as Caesar in War For The Planet Of The Apes, which sees the animal leaving friends and family behind in order to take revenge on the despotic Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson.

Serkis spoke highly of his co-star both on and off the screen.

“He’s amazing. Woody is an amazing person – he’s a very honest and brilliant actor, and he gives you such truthful performances in everything he does,” he said.

“The scenes between Caesar and the Colonel were some of the most pleasurable acting experiences I’ve had with another actor on screen.”

It is the third time that Serkis has played Caesar, and he admits it was good to return to the animal.

“I love playing Caesar and actually, in this iteration, it’s really exciting because we get to see a different side of Caesar – a far cry from the empathetic leader who’s trying to be a peace broker between apes and humans.”

But Serkis also says that while he loves the role, he did not have an easy time during production.

“It’s physically, it’s emotionally demanding and psychologically testing really. You put yourself out there for sure,” he said.

Apes 2
Image:How the apes look in the film…
Apes 1
Image:… and the men who play them on camera

“You’re always drawing on yourself as an actor, playing a role, you’re always pulling chunks out of the files in your mind, in your subconscious, or things that you feel emotional about.

“You’re always using those in some way and actually I had a lot to draw from because I was going through a dark time as we were shooting this.

“So the memory of the entire shoot was quite bleak, but at the same time all the themes within the story really resonated with my life.”

Serkis has become the go-to guy in Hollywood for motion capture, both as an actor, but also as someone at the forefront of the technology with his own studio in London.

He explains that for him it is something that has transformed film-making.

“What is so extraordinary about this technology is it means that you can go from playing a three-and-a-half foot hobbit to a twenty-five foot gorilla and that therefore means it’s the end of typecasting as we know it,” Serkis explained.

“So when the scripts have been good and the role’s been great and the opportunities have been there that mean something then I’ve taken those roles – like Caesar in the Apes movies.

“But also at the same time running alongside that I’ve been developing the technology with our company The Imaginarium and pushing forward the art and craft of performance capturing in lots of different arenas, so I feel very passionate about it.”

War For The Planet Of The Apes is out in cinemas in the UK on 11 July.

© 2017, Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC T/A: Bro Radio & Sky News.

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Nathan Spackman

Nathan is the Sales & Events manager at Bro Radio. You'll occasionally find him with our street team and hosting at local events as well as presenting our facebook live videos.