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An Actor's Insight
on 4 January 2004
Andy Serkis writes with great wit and intimacy about his time spent creating the character of Gollum for the 'Lord of the Rings' film trilogy.
The book provides a fascinating insight into the processes by which this passionate and committed actor approached and developed Tolkien's most infamous creature.
Talking about everything from sleepless nights and blue lycra mocap-suits, to lonely river excursions and Gollum juice, Serkis provides an in-depth, humourous account of life as a 500-year old ring addict.
At one point the actor finds himself doing additional dialogue recording for LotR while playing the principal villain in Shakespeare's 'Othello'. "Playing Gollum and Iago at the same time is bad for your mental health," he observes. Quite.
Serkis also relates with clarity the experience of being a part of the many technological advances that were made both during principal photography and his extensive work on post-production.
Where necessary he hands over narrative to the writing and directing team, and the many experts in the fields of motion/performance-capture, animation and the rest of the Weta wizards.
The extent of the collaberation on show is astonishing.
A highly enjoyable book, it is a must-read for LotR fans, and anyone interested in the craft of acting, the technological leaps made during production, or filmmaking in general will find it absorbing to the last.