Andy Serkis Talks About Bringing Snoke to Life with EW
Andy Serkis is a truly unique talent. Long underappreciated (outside of those obsessed with the many franchises he has been an integral part of) for his motion capture performances, over the last few years he has started to become somewhat more of a household name.
Serkis’s performance as the scenery chewing Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a bit of a departure from the creatures and characters he is typically known for. Snoke is a loathsome but powerful being who, at least from what we have seen of him, seems to be an irredeemable monster.
How did Serkis develop that character? Who is this man who would bring such destruction to a galaxy that had finally achieved some level of peace? Serkis discussed what he could with EW.
Serkis on the physical attributes of Snoke and how they impacted his performance:
Another thing I notice about your physicality is how you tilt to one side, and there’s almost a slouching quality to Snoke, rather than someone who is stiff and formal.
I always imagined that he had a scoliosis of the spine, so that his body was contorted like he’s corkscrewed up. He is withered and slightly twisted in his spine, so that gave him that lurch. Those injuries are things that he has carried for a long time, and it’s almost like a form of arthritis.
Are we allowed to know what kind of damage that is? What was it that messed him up so badly?
It is to do with previous battles. It’s a sort of decay as well. He’s quite an old character, and those battle scars are affecting his recovery and his body’s started to break down as well.
Beyond the physical, Star Wars fans everywhere long to know just who Snoke is, how he came to power, and why he is so obsessed with oppressing the galaxy. While not all that relevant to the plot of the Sequel Trilogy, a backstory would obviously have still been worked out. But only a few know the details.
The fans continue to be fascinated with Snoke and his history. I wondered if you were privy to any insight into his past that the movies don’t address, and whether you can shed any light on that?
We wanted him to have a great deal of mystery, but we did … J.J. [Abrams] and I discussed it, and Rian [Johnson] and I did discuss backstories to him, where he came from. I’ve been asked to not shed anything, should we want to bring him back in any way whether [in a] prequel or whatever. I think there’s something cool about that. It still does remain a mystery for people. I know that some people find it incredibly frustrating, but I think it allows for further exploration and layering at a further point.
So will we ever get any additional glimpses into that backstory?
Do you anticipate a return for Snoke in some future stories?
Yeah, I would love to think that there is room for him to come back. I think anything’s possible in a Star Wars movie. I’d be all up for it. I think there’s a lot more to be had from the character for sure, but I’m not in discussions with anybody at all about it.
But even if we can’t know the specifics of Snoke’s history, Serkis does let us in on a bit of his motivations anyway.
For now, Supreme Leader Snoke is no more. What else should we know about him?
I played him as incredibly threatened by this female, which he’s not used to or doesn’t understand. He completely underestimates Rey, obviously, but he can sense that there’s a strength there that certainly Kylo Ren doesn’t have. I would say he’s pretty misogynistic in that respect. Interestingly. For our time.
It seems inevitable that we will someday learn more about who Snoke was. Either in the next animated series, a novel or comic, or maybe even a future theatrical release. Until that time, we can just enjoy the fantastic performance for what it was and the evils of past generations he represented in The Last Jedi.
Head over to EW for the full article, including more info on what it took for Serkis to create this performance. And check out the video below of Serkis performing some of that great throne room scene without the effects in place.