Andy Serkis has come forward and said that he’s based his portrayal of Gollum on his cat.
The ‘Lord of the Rings’ actor, who is set to reprise the role of the ring-obsessed creature in fantasy prequel ‘The Hobbit’, immerses himself in his characters for months in order to make the portrayal accurate, so spent a lot of time studying his pet in order to establish some distinguishing mannerisms.
He said, ‘It’s ultimately about putting your own life under a microscope and relating it to your character. And your life changes. You’re altering yourself.
‘I drew on all sorts of inspirations for Gollum, down to my cat. Coughing up hairballs.
‘But also looking at him psychologically. How to relate to that person. If he was a person. And addiction, and what that does.’
The British star’s father used to work in Iraq and after spending many summers in the Middle East with his family, Andy now dreams of setting up a film festival in the country’s capital city, Baghdad.
He said, ‘We used to go there every summer. I have really happy memories.
‘Baghdad used to have a huge amount of cinemas. There were 64 in the centre. Now, there’s not one working projector. I’d love to set up a film festival at some point.’
I did meet Andy Serkis a few years back. I can’t remember if he had just finished filming ‘Shiner’. A London gangster type film that starred Michael Caine and Frank Harper (Lock, Stock and 2 smoking barrels, Bend it like Beckham and Rise of the Foot Soldier).
Franks Dad, Dave, used to own a pub in South London and I frequented it on many occasions…oh, who am I kidding…I fucking lived there. Anyway, we drank to the many hours of the morning and, I have many funny, bloke-type stories…none of course that I care to mention right now. It’s a bloke thing…it’s his honour, you know. You just can’t go around letting proverbial ‘cats out of bags’.
There’s not much to say, except that Andy Serkis did mention his cat on the evening and he made a sound like Gollum. We were all doing impressions and the drink was flowing, but this guy, Andy, could really do strange impressions. And he sort of showed us what his cat would sound like if it was human…and Gollum was born, before we even knew what he was meant to sound like.
If you were after some strange story about Mr. Serkis being into leather and dressing up in school-girls clothes, then I’m terribly sorry. The man is an outstanding actor and up-standing gentleman.
Also, he’s just brilliant at being Gollum. Not just because of the effects, but of the man who’s acting.
by Wallace McTavish