Andy Serkis will forever be known to genre fans as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and 2013’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but 2015 might be his most high-profile yet.
The gold standard of performance-capture artists is a cast member of next year’s Star Wars Episode VII, but he’s also playing some sort of role in May 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, though he’s being coy as to whether his work will be seen on-screen or not.
In a recent interview with Variety, Serkis, who is also the co-founder of the performance capture studio/consultant the Imaginarium, revealed he’s working closely with Mark Ruffalo for Ruffalo’s performance capture reprisal of his Hulk role.
Asked by the Hollywood trade if moviegoers will see him onscreen in Age of Ultron (“will we actually see your face?” was their question), Serkis wouldn't say.
“I’m not at liberty to mention,” he replied. “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.”
In a follow-up, Variety asked why Ruffalo needed coaching considering he played the Hulk in 2012’s The Avengers, and Serkis explained while Ruffalo used performance capture for the Hulk in the original, it was not used to the same extent Ruffalo is using it in the sequel.
“There are tools and ways of working with an actor that makes them feel that they own the character,” Serkis said. “And a character the size of the Hulk needs ownership, which Mark has now.”