Exclusive: Andy Serkis on His Hobbit Directing Duties

On Friday, moviegoers will be able to see how Andy Serkis brought Caesar to life in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and later this year he’s playing Captain Haddock in Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin. He follows that up with his anticipated return to Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films, movies which he is also directing the 2nd Unit for.

ComingSoon.net talked to Serkis this weekend about taking on the additional duties.

ComingSoon.net: You’ve directed several small short films, but it must be like getting handed the keys to the kingdom directing Second Unit on “The Hobbit.” With all those resources at your disposal, what doesn’t change from doing a low budget short to a $500 million dollar film?

Andy Serkis: It’s really incredible. At the end of the day you’re finding the right shot to support the performance. That’s something I’ve learned from working with Peter over the years. What I’ve loved and really connected with is observing his choices in how to tell a story with a camera. I’ve been very inspired by the way he works over the years, clearly, and I think that’s why I feel like I’m kind of in touch with his sensibility. Although I’m there for him on 2nd Unit, his words to me when he offered me the job were, “I want you to make bold decisions, come back with your own take on it, you can cut your own material.” He wants a fresh pair of eyes as well. I’m not gonna take it too far from his sensibility, but to have that creative freedom and yet at the same time know that you’re aiming towards the same end is a great mix for working on that scale. Working in 3D for the first time, working with such a big crew, all the drama and battle sequences and all the other things.

CS: Will what you do next be somewhere in the middle or do you want to direct big films like this?

Serkis: I think, yeah. Look, it’s all about story and characters, so for me if the story demands a smaller, low-budget approach then I’ll do that. If it needs a bigger palette, a lot more money, I think I’m equipped to do that too.

Look for the full interviews with Serkis and Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt this week before the film opens on Friday, August 5.

(Photo Credit: Brian To/WENN.com)

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