Say hello again to Gollum, the unfortunate riddle master. Also say hello to Andy Serkis, the voice and movement behind our slimy friend. Here’s an on-set picture of Serkis with Martin Freeman (Bilbo):
A lot of fans say Serkis should’ve received an award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ due to his work with Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course Gollum is entirely animated, but his voice, facial expressions, and movements are all provided via nifty CGI technology by Serkis (the headgear and costume he’s wearing in the picture is a motion capture uniform). The character did win Best Virtual Performance in the 2003 MTV Movie Awards, an honor that recognized both Serkis and the animators and digital artists who helped bring Gollum to life. An awful lot of talent went into that horrible creature! And here’s the result:
Gives me the willies just looking at him! Serkis was able to tap into Gollum’s undeniably vile demeanor while also displaying the character’s sad side. This is especially apparent later in the LOTR series when we could see Gollum argue with Smeagol (his former, comparably saner and nicer, internal self). I’m hoping for more split-personality confusion in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; directer Peter Jackson’s got big plans for the little guy. We’ll learn a lot more about him and The Ring than what was in the book. However, I don’t care how much of him I see, I’ll never get used to those eerie bulbous eyes or that slithery voice!
If you want more Hobbit news, you can check out Michelle’s article here, and be sure to check out the gallery here. When I first heard about The Hobbit, I thought it would just be a fun aside to the more serious LOTR series, but it’s clear I underestimated the journey.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will hit theaters December 14.