Hobbit Week: A Conversation With Andy Serkis, Creator of Gollum

With his portrayal of Gollum in Rings, alongside his roles in King Kong, The Adventures of Tintin and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Serkis has come to define the art of motion capture performance. A stage actor as well, he’s also directed short films, worked in video games, and has founded his own London-based performance capture studio, The Imaginarium.

Another first for Serkis: He served as second unit director on Jackson’s Hobbit movies. The second unit typically shoots crowd scenes, landscapes, helicopter shots, action or fight scenes and other shots (close ups, pick ups) that usually don’t include the main actors. But for The Hobbit, which required 266 days to shoot all three films, the responsibilities of second unit was about as taxing as the main unit on other films.

I spoke with Serkis while he was in New York City, with other cast and crew from The Hobbit, to promote the film.

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