One Actor Helped Create Modern Versions Of Both Godzilla And Kong

Andy Serkis is no stranger to dual roles. The groundbreaking pioneer in motion-capture work may be most well known among general audiences for his casting in "The Lord of the Rings" as Gollum/Sméagol, everybody's favorite two-faced little gremlin, but that only scratches the surface of his contributions to film over the decades. Serkis has since expanded his talents from acting to directing ("Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle" and "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" were but a warm-up for his recent announcement as director and star of "The Hunt for Gollum"), delivered a genuinely award-worthy performance as the ape Caesar in the previous "The Planet of the Apes" trilogy, and even found time to depict two very different "Star Wars" characters as Supreme Leader Snoke in "The Last Jedi" and hardened prisoner Kino Loy in "Andor."

But how many of us were aware that the multihyphenate talent was also responsible for bringing two of our biggest and best kaiju to life on the big screen in the past couple of decades? His reuniting with director Peter Jackson on 2005's "King Kong" remake was hardly a secret, appearing in a pair of roles as the doomed ship's cook affectionately known as Lumpy (who suffered one of the most outrageously gruesome on-screen fates in any mainstream monster movie I can recall) and, of course, as the mo-cap performer for Kong himself. His lesser-recognized contribution, however, came in director Gareth Edwards' 2014 "Godzilla," the film that first launched the highly-profitable MonsterVerse and featured Serkis in a consulting role to help make the King of the Monsters as fearsome and properly motivated as he could be.

Read on for more details!

Andy Serkis helped find emotion and motivation in Godzilla

How many people can claim to have left their fingerprints on two of cinema's most famous monsters of all time? Few artists working in this industry can hope to measure up to the accomplishments of Andy Serkis, but this kaiju tidbit just might blow the rest out of the water. Most fans may not have noticed, but one look at the IMDb page for "Godzilla" confirms that Serkis received official credit as "Performance Capture Consultant." The actor once went into detail on this gig in a video interview with IGN, where he explained that his mo-cap studio Imaginarium was brought on after filming commenced on "Godzilla." For what purpose? According to Serkis:

"It was a very different situation [than] making 'Apes' or something, where I'm playing the character all the way through. But as a consultancy, we worked on the project to see if we could bring some emotional quality to the performance."

It appears Edwards made use of only a minimum of Serkis' actual body language and movement for the big guy. A 2014 BBC profile supports this idea, quoting the director as saying that Serkis assisted in certain of Godzilla's facial expressions, but mostly "...helped shape the title character's emotional arc." After all, even a kaiju needs motivation. As Serkis told IGN:

"It's understanding where that character comes from, the ancient soul awakening from the deep to come back. A calling has happened, where he's noticing the Earth's core warming up and the seas warming up, and knowing that potentially the Earth is at risk. He basically comes back to try and restore balance to the world."

Between this and "King Kong," Serkis played an incredibly important role in shaping two monster-sized blockbusters. All hail the real king!