Andy Serkis: God Save The Queen's English
In his Ask Me Another Challenge, Andy Serkis ( Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Lord of the Rings) helps expand your vocabulary to include a spot of British slang. Any idea what the "collywobbles" are, or what happens when you throw on a "boob tube" before leaving the house? You'll be speaking like a Brit in no time.
Plus, Serkis explains the origin of Gollum's voice (which he later left on the answering machine of our grand prize winner), and offers a quick tease of his as-yet-unannounced role in J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Wars film, Episode VII.
On preparing to play the roles of King Kong and Caesar
I spent a lot of time researching apes. For King Kong I went to Rwanda and watched gorillas in the wild, and studied apes in zoos. I observed the differences between apes in captivity, which reflect human behavior a lot more in their rhythms, and those in Rwanda, which are like blissed-out hippies, they were incredibly relaxed and wonderful to be around. You take all this research, and then it's all about character. And Caesar is a very complex ape.
On the origin of Gollum's voice
He's called Gollum because of the way he sounds, according to Tolkien. So I based it around the notion that he was addicted to the ring, but mostly it was because he was guilty over the murder of his cousin – because of course he kills his cousin to take the ring. He strangles his cousin, so really for him, he carries the memory and the guilt in his throat. But I also wanted something involuntary, like a spasm, that forces Gollum's voice out. So I based it on my cat (Diz, after Dizzy Gillespie) coughing up fur balls.
On his upcoming role in the new Star Wars film
I'm not Yoda.
This segment originally ran on July 24, 2014.
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