Andy Serkis gave one hell of a great performance in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Yeah, I know the character was digital, but that performance was all him. All it basically is is digital makeup. The actor is also set to co-star in Star Wars: Epsiode VII and Avengers: Age of Ultron. During a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Serkis talked about his role in Age of Ultron and educating Mark Ruffalo and Joss Whedon in the art of performance capture:
"The difference for Mark [Ruffalo] this time around is that the Imaginarium, which is our performance-capture studio in London that’s providing all the performance capture for the Avengers movie, is providing education. Previously, he would’ve walked onto a set and you’ve got Thor and all the other characters in their costumes looking magnificent, and then you’d have Mark in a grey motion-capture suit playing this enormous character, so it’s about giving the actor the right atmosphere and credibility for the performance, which we did in a number of ways. We had to educate the director that the actor owns the role, and what you get on the set is what you should be aiming to put into your cut as the final performance—with the rendering coming later on.”
Serkis went into a little more detail on how they brought the Hulk to life on the set of the film, saying:
“Also, we worked with Mark in really grounding him and playing with the digital avatar before going on set so he could see himself as the Hulk before going onscreen, and we put weights and inhibitors on him to give him the sense that his arms were these big, giant wrecking balls, and so that his biceps wouldn’t intersect with his body. We equipped him. We also gave him a sound system and pitch-modulated his voice so you could hear the enormous Hulk roar coming out of these speakers, so the crew would go, 'Jesus! That’s Hulk on set!' It gives Mark the sense of feeling better, and if he feels better, then he’ll be more comfortable in the performance.”
At one point in the interview he was asked if he would be playing Thanos on the set, who is being voiced by Josh Brolin. This was his reply:
“Um…I’d have to deny that character at this point. But I am playing a character. I was really thrilled that Whedon asked me to be involved. It’s fantastic. I’ve had a ball working with them, both as performance capture consultant through the Imaginarium, but also being asked to be in it. I can’t say anything more!”
So the jury's still out on who Serkis will be playing in Age of Ultron, but I'm sure it will be a great character. It's really cool to see what he is bringing to the production as a whole, though!