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Andrew Serkis: The man behind the mask

hollywood Updated: Nov 10, 2011 13:37 IST
Robin Bansal
Robin Bansal
Hindustan Times
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Gollum, King Kong, Caesar and now Captain Haddock in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn — he’s played almost every iconic character through motion capture (mo-cap). English actor Andy Serkis now reveals, he has, sort of, fallen for the whole leverage of being the man without a face.

“Why I adore performance capture is precisely for the reason that I can’t be recognised… And you can pretty much walk down the street and people don’t know you and for me that’s great. I can go shopping with my family. It’s awesome,” says the 47-year-old, who is set to reprise his character, Gollum, in the upcoming The Hobbit flicks as well as Caesar and Haddock in the Apes and Tintin sequels respectively.

“I see myself in every single character that I play... I may not be manifested on screen, but with every acting decision, and every in the moment beat, you’re not just conveying a look, but also a thought and a feeling. You’re embodying the character and giving soul to it,” adds the actor, who is gaga over Tintin’s makers — Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.

“To be in the presence of two visionary directors, who don’t really need to push boundaries because it’s part of their DNA to create a new vision of storytelling, is very fulfilling,” he says.

Playing the abusive, drunk, multi-millionaire, seafaring Captain has rubbed on Serkis, who now wants to enact his own version of him. “You know Haddock isn’t inebriated for the entire movie, and I’d quite like to see that version,” he says.

Know Andy more…
Full name:
Andrew Clement G. Serkis
Age : 47
Debut: TV - Morris Minor and his Marvellous Motors (1989); Films - Prince of Jutland (1994)
Known for: Playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, title role in the King Kong remake, Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Latest flick: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Future projects: The Hobbit, The Spider, Freezing Time
Spouse: Lorraine Ashbourne
Kids: Ruby, 13; Sonny, 11; Louis, 7

Andy’s take on Haddock and his curses
* Thundering typhoons, Blistering barnacles, Ectoplasmic baboons, Vermicelli and if you call someone a vegetarian with a particular tone of voice, that can be pretty nasty.

* What’s beautiful about them is the fact that they’re totally abstract and all very mundane words, which are joined together and it’s the way in which they’re delivered that make them swear words.

* Hergé (Tintin’s creator) was able to get through censorship by creating a fabulous vocabulary of wonderful expletives. And yes, there’s no denying that Captain Haddock likes a drink.

Check out Sony’s latest release – The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn