Playing Gollum in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy had changed Andy Serkis' life as an actor. He successfully brought the first photo-realistic character to life using the motion-capture performance, and since then became a digital acting specialist in a number of successful films. Despite all the success, Serkis admitted that reprising his iconic role as Gollum in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" was not as easy as it might seem.
"Every single day of my life I'm reminded of Gollum in some shape or form, with someone walking up to me asking me to do his voice," Serkis shared to Hero Complex. "For the first couple of days [on set] I felt like I was doing a huge impersonation of a character I had done 12 years ago. It was a peculiar sensation. It took time to emotionally connect with him."
In the first "Hobbit" film, Gollum will make his first appearance as Bilbo [Martin Freeman] accidentally enters his cave before the two get tangled in a battle of wits. The scene was the first one that Jackson filmed in order to give Freeman a chance to settle into the production with one of the film's logistically simpler sequences.
Recalling the shooting of the scene, Serkis opened up, "Peter wanted to start Martin off with a one-on-one scene rather than him being surrounded by 13 dwarfs and a wizard." The English actor who also served as the second unit director went on, "We shot the scene in its entirety, like doing a piece of theater really."
"Now the director and the actor can relate to each other as they would on a regular live action shoot," he continued. "Every single moment is connected. It feels much more like conventional shooting."
During the chat, Serkis also shared about what Gollum meant to him. "Gollum has been such a huge part of my life," he said. "He represented a turning point in terms of creating a particular method of playing a role, and took me from the world of conventional live-action acting to another form of acting, which has dominated the last 12 years of my life. I think of him affectionately."
Meanwhile, the scene of Bilbo entering Gollum's lair in "The Hobbit" is highlighted in a newly-released TV spot for the epic movie. The two are seen trying to outwit each other, but it seems that Bilbo realizes the skinny creature is not easy to fool.
To open Stateside on December 14, "The Hobbit" itself follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild.