Andy Serkis interview

He's known for his motion-capture work as Gollum and now Andy Serkis appears in comedy-thriller The Cottage

Best known for his motion-capture work as Gollum on Lord of the Rings and the titular ape in King Kong, Andy Serkis, 43, returns to live-action for The Cottage, a British comedy-thriller about a kidnap gone wrong.

How would you describe The Cottage? It’s been compared to Shaun of the Dead?

It isn’t a horror film. I kind of think of it as a character-driven heist gone wrong. But for me it’s rooted in the sensibility of someone like Paul Thomas Anderson. It is very comedic. All the characters are people that you would know. They’re not way out there.

As you do here, you often play characters that are very angry. Where does all that anger come from?

It’s very hard to pin down. My relationship with my father was strained, because he was living away for such a long time, so it was possibly born out of that. I’m quite contrary. If people agree on something, I tend to gravitate the other way, just by my nature. I don’t like to be told what to do. I think it goes back to school. I like to do the things I like to do and I’m really not very good at doing the things I don’t want to do. I find it an easier emotion to access!

Is it nice that you managed to preserve your anonymity while playing in both Lord of the Rings and King Kong?

For me as an actor, to have the opportunity to play Gollum and Kong – two amazing characters – and yet not to be locked into those roles facially, was a dream. They’re both vastly different and really challenging, acting-wise. It doesn’t make any difference to me whether I’m acting on screen or in the digital realm.

Talking of which, is it true you’re in the big screen version of Tintin next?

Yes. We’re shooting a small section of it in LA this month, and the rest of it we’re making next year. Steven Spielberg is directing the first one, then Peter Jackson is directing the second one, and then they’re collaborating on the third. It’s a joint venture – it’s insane! It will all be animated via performance-capture.

The Cottage opens on 14 March.

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