AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON – Andy Serkis Working Closely with Mark Ruffalo for Performance Capture

by     Posted 171 days ago

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Andy Serkis has appeared in some of recent history’s biggest films, though audiences rarely get to see his face.  He turned in an iconic performance as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films, is stealing scenes as Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes films, and even took on one of cinema’s biggest monsters in Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake.  If that wasn’t good enough, Serkis is now working on a pair of highly anticipated films: Star Wars: Episode VII and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  While we don’t know exactly what roles he’ll be performing in either film just yet, Serkis recently commented on the type of work he’ll be doing.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

andy-serkis-avengers-age-of-ultronIn an interview with Variety, Serkis addressed his work in Avengers: Age of Ultron through his performance-capture studio and consulting company, The Imaginarium.  Here’s the pertinent news:

You’re involved with both “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Star Wars Episode VII.”

The Imaginarium is the performance capture consultant, and I’m playing a role (in both films). On ‘The Avengers,’ I’ve been working closely with Mark Ruffalo.

Will we actually see your face?

I’m not at liberty to mention. But it’s all the same to me. I’ve never drawn a distinction when playing a role, whether it be live action or performance capture. Acting is acting. It’s just basically what you wear to the set that’s different.

Mark Ruffalo has played the Hulk before. Why does he need coaching? 

Performance capture was used on the previous “Hulk,” but not to the same extent Mark is using it now. There are tools and ways of working with an actor that makes them feel that they own the character. And a character the size of the Hulk needs ownership, which Mark has now.

So while it makes sense that Serkis has been brought in to Avengers: Age of Ultron in a consulting manner, I’m curious to see just what role he’ll be playing.  If Ruffalo really has ownership of the Hulk now, will he be the sole performer behind the big green monster?  Or does Joss Whedon have things in mind for the mighty Avenger that only Serkis, with all his years of experience, can pull off?  Maybe Serkis is taking on an entirely different role and is also acting in a consulting capacity while on set?  Unfortunately that’s all still shrouded in mystery, so it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer to know for sure.  I’m just happy that Serkis’ talent continues to be showcased on bigger and bigger stages.

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  • http://www.scifihistory.net/ E. Lee Zimmerman

    Good grief! Ruffalo can’t even handle motion capture without a tutor?

    • Cody McGowan

      He’s just too damn busy being the best Banner ever.

      • http://www.scifihistory.net/ E. Lee Zimmerman

        Considering how little we see of him, I concur.

      • The Flobbit

        Considering his opposition is Eric “Purple Pants” Bana and Edward “Nasal Voice” Norton, that isn’t the biggest feat of all time.

    • Ruprect

      Right, because acting is JUST that easy. Pfft.

    • Grayden

      Right, because actors are automatically brilliant at everything they do. They’re the modern day polymaths of pretending.

  • FoonZeeS

    Can’t wait for Serkis’ portrayal of Jar Jar’s offspring.

    • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

      I never expected Star Wars to have an abortion scene, man Abrams is really getting bold.

      • SonJamos

        Yeah it’s going to be some gritty shit. We’re talking back of a van in an alley with a rusty coat hanger

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        With a few lens flares for dramatic and cinematic panache.

      • SonJamos

        Filmed with glorious 70mm IMAX film..

  • bidi

    hmmm. in the recent interview posted with Ruffalo he mentions that he’s working with Serkis, but i had no idea Serkis has an actual role in the film. probably just a cameo. one of those things like, “since you’re on set, you might as well be in the movie”

  • Person

    I don’t understand what the Hulk does that needs to be taken ownership of. He stomps around smashing things. He doesn’t require facial subtlety like Caesar or Gollum, he’s not a “performance” character in the traditional sense – he just smashes things real good. I guess now Ruffalo does a better job doing that?

    • Cody McGowan

      Tartuffe the Wonder-Hulk

    • Ruprect

      Did you even SEE The Avengers?

  • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

    Andy Serkis is in a pretty awesome position in Hollywood right now. He’s the go-to guy for all things realistic mo-cap, and he’s been on a hot streak as of late. Also, he’s pretty damn funny in interviews (though this one seemed pretty tight-lipped)

    • Cody McGowan

      Let’s not forget his genius turn in 13 Going on 30. Best mo-cap performance ever. It was like he was actually there!

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Fun Fact: That was actually Wayne Knight playing Andy Serkis. I bet you didn’t even know he was in the mo-cap game.

  • vpuik

    You missed Captain Haddock.

    I still think his best performance was as the dancing baby in Allie McBeal.

  • appolox

    I feel like he would be a good choice for Beta Ray Bill if they ever adapt that storyline.

  • Drake

    BECAUSE ANDY SERKIS IS THE MAN! The caps lock is entirely necessary.

  • Ruprect

    Perhaps he is doing some of the motion for Ultron too.

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