Entertainment Weekly caught up with the actor at the premiere for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and asked him 10 questions about The Force Awakens…
1.) His voice was unaltered for the trailer.
We know now that the narrator of The Force Awakens teaser was Serkis’ unspecified character, but at first no one was sure which actor was speaking. Was his voice being deliberately masked? “That is the character,” Serkis says, adding that the gravelly, ominous voice is entirely organic. “There’s no digital manipulation. That’s just me.”
2.) Serkis, a pioneer of performance-capture technology, will not play multiple characters in the movie.
The rumor that Serkis will take on more than one part is “not true at all,” Serkis says. “I can say I only play one character.”
4.) The actor knew those lines would be in the trailer.
It’s true—though Serkis simply didn’t know how large a role his voice would play in those 88 seconds. Apart from the background muttering of droids, his is the only voice that we hear. “Director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] told me, ‘You’re all over the trailer,’ but I didn’t know what that meant,” Serkis says. “I thought, ‘Oh great, they’re using the voice of the character I play for the trailer. That’s fantastic.’ Not thinking what that would actually translate into.”
6.) Will Serkis’s character lead a “group of unbelievably athletic and acrobatic motion capture characters”?
This report from Jedi News also gets a big laugh out of Serkis – along with a sustained eyeball-roll. “I’m not leading a band of gymnasts or acrobats,” he says.
10.) He’ll be getting an action figure (unless they want an unhappy actor on their hands).
“That, I hope,” Serkis says, crossing his arms. “I’d better.”
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