He is known throughout Hollywood as the Motion Captured King. Indeed, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis has taken the futuristic technological advancement from gimmicky eye-candy to respected, award-winning performance. The overwhelmingly in-demand actor—who sparked serious buzz amongst critics who felt he should have been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his transformative work as the tortured Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy—is back again as Caesar, the highly evolved leader of the apes who must now deal with the aftermath of the virus-inflicted collapse of human civilization.
According to Serkis, the follow-up to the 2011 prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes finds his character taking on a more nuanced, emotional role.
"[Caesar's] being pulled in lots of different directions," he told VIBE Tuesday during a Brooklyn, New York screening of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. "He has a family, he has a wife, he has a teenage son. He has a counsel of apes, some of which are sort of connected to him, some of which don't believe in him as a leader. He's now trying to solve issues in terms of finding a peaceful solution to an escalating conflict."
But it's not just fans of the long-running science fiction film saga that forever became part of our pop culture with the groundbreaking 1968 film Planet of the Apes who should be snatching up movie tickets when Dawn opens this Friday (August 11). Our elected officials could also learn a thing or two from Caesar as he and his Simian followers take on their human counterparts in the race for survival.
"He's a politician, and also he has to remain true to himself," says Serkis, who is set to star in the sequel to the 2012 mega blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers and the much anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. "But also he is an internally conflicted person and ape because he does reflect both humanity and [apes]. I think Caesar is one of the most empathetic characters that I've played. I think that's the key to a successful leadership. Being able to keep your ears open at all times." —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)