Why Andy Serkis Should Win an Oscar

Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened in U.S. theaters this past weekend and quickly became one of the best movies of the summer, both in the box office and in critics’ words. The sequel in the reboot installment of the 1968 film Planet of the Apes , starring Charlton Heston, and has already made $72.6 million and is a 91% on critic conglomerate website Rotten Tomatoes

Much of the success of the reboot series is due to the focus on the characterization of the apes, specifically the scientifically evolved ape leader named Caesar. The lead character is played by Andy Serkis, using performance capture technology to digitally create the character based off of facial and physical movements on camera.

Serkis is the face of performance capture technology in film that began its development in the science and video game fields. Serkis’ break through role in performance capture began as Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The film role not only launched Serkis’ career but also the development of performance capture. He continued to act in roles in the similar form for films such as King Kong, Adventures of Tin Tin, The Hobbit trilogy, and the current Planet of the Apes reboot.

His incredible acting roles and consistent mastering of the art have launched the technology to the point where Serkis has started his own performance capture studio called The Imaginarium. His success in his role has led to directing roles for second unit on The Hobbit trilogy and the upcoming live action Jungle Book film, where we are sure to see Serkis’ techniques prevalent. It was recently announced that Serkis is on the set of the new Star Wars film directed by J.J. Abrams for a potential performance capture role or roles.

Serkis’ abilities and performances have been critically acclaimed throughout the industry and in the hearts of fans across the world. But yet, his roles have been shunned in Hollywood awards. This may be because technology based acting blurs the lines between stuntman and actor, but that argument has been irrelevant for a decade. Serkis was in every scene in with his co-actors, both on set or on location, making him as much as an actor as Gary Oldman. This lack of recognition for Serkis’ work is embarrassing for the film and entertainment community. How has the film awards industry been so far behind in recognizing a breakthrough in the world they regulate? I hope for the film industry’s sake that Andy Serkis gets recognized with awards for his work as Caesar and his more amazing work to come.

Guest blogger Mark Winston is a film nerd and a representative of Orchard Inn.