It would seemingly be pretty sweet to be Peter Jackson’s muse, with prominent roles in several well-regarded big-budget productions (oftentimes mutually exclusive adjectives). But what if one of the strict conditions of receiving these roles is that no one ever see your (possibly hideously ugly) face? You possess facial muscles that can make a middle-aged housewife nod knowingly with merely a nuanced arching of a computer-simulated eyebrow; does that compensate for the fact that your non-CGI visage has made even veteran crime scene photographers retch up 2-3 recent meals? If every role required tiny light bulbs to cover your face – not only to capture the movements for the digital manipulation, but to obscure your features such that the crew would not be subject to seeing your face, undiluted?
Such is the plight of Andy Serkis, who’s the computer-generated face of Gollum, King Kong, some apes in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and probably some other stuff. I know actors are supposed to have pretty thick skin, but isn’t “your fucking face is disgusting” harder to digest than “you need to lose around ten pounds, sweetie”? Even worse, he’s almost universally lauded for these performances, with some Oscar buzz for Gollum and some more modest awards chatter for ROTPOA. “You’re great, we love you, you captured the character perfectly – thank God we were able to edit out all of your physical characteristics.” I’ve gotta assume AS has a pretty solid net worth, so it’s not all bad for him, but I can imagine that it kind of sucks to be his agent.
Ten Responses Andy Serkis’ Agent Has Definitely Heard From Casting Directors
1. “We are gonna pass, but he’d be perfect if we needed to cast John Merrick’s uglier brother”
2. “I’ll get back to you, our cameramen are negotiating for offset cameras if we cast him, don’t know if our budget can handle it”
3. “I think we would be much more interested if we’d figured out how to film with Andy behind the greenscreen”
4. “Would he be interested in auditioning for the role of “1980 Saints Fan”, instead?”
5. “Has a little too much of a Gracie Belle vibe for this part”
6. “When we called Andy in, we had no idea that he’d been recently involved in a chimpanzee attack – did it happen on the Planet of the Apes set?”
7. “Andy makes Paul Giammati look like a young Patrick Swayze”
8. “Sorry, we learned our lesson with the Ray Park experiment”
9. “Call Paramount, they are working on an Unknown Comic biopic”
10. “God, no…he’s horrendous”