Andy Serkis Almost Didn’t Take Lord Of The Rings Gollum Role
It's really hard to imagine anyone other than Andy Serkis as Gollum.
We all remember Andy Serkis very fondly for his role as Gollum in Lord of the Rings. He was so good at it that it’s impossible to even imagine anyone else as Hollum. However, Serkis was quite close to leaving the role at the beginning of the filming. Here’s why!
Andy Serkis explains why he almost passed on Gollum
On Josh Gad’s Reunited Apart series on Youtube, we recently got a Lord of the Rings reunion. In it, Andy Serkis was recalling how he felt when he first heard of Gollum’s role. The thing is that at the time, CGI characters were a very new concept. And for Serkis, doing Gollum, which wouldn’t show his face at all, might have been damaging to his career. Serkis said:
It was an interesting one. Because when I first heard from my agent this was happening, it was just like, ‘Andy, look, they’re doing this amazing kind of film of Lord of the Rings down in New Zealand. They’d like to see you for a voice for a digital character.’ I was like, ‘A what?’
Furthermore, Serkis recalls that when he told one of his co-stars from another film he was working on about Gollum, he told him to ditch it:
I remember I was in Prague working on an adaptation of Oliver Twist actually and I said to this other actor I was working with, ‘I think I may be going down to New Zealand to do this digital character.’ He said, ‘Well, is your face going to be on screen?’ I said, ‘No, it’s not.’ He said, ‘Mate, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.’
However, instead of following this advice, Serkis listened to the director Peter Jackson. Jackson helped Andy Serkis understand the situation with Gollum better:
Pete did say, ‘I’m not exactly sure how this is going to happen, but we’re trying out this new methodology called motion capture. You know, we want someone to be on set, to be Gollum, but not you know, no actor could be actually how we envision him.’
This is how Andy Serkis was convinced to play Gollum in the trilogy.
Why it was the right choice
Other than Gollum being so memorable, it was the right decision for Andy Serkis’s career. Ever since Lord of the Rings, Serkis has worked in King Kong, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He has even ventured into the world of directing, as he is the director of Venom 2. So, Serkis owes a lot of his career to Gollum.
Moreover, Peter Jackson admitted that he had no doubts Andy Serkis would steal the show as Gollum. And I’m sure that the Lord of the Rings fanbase agrees with him.