Andy Serkis on how the apes have evolved in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
In a lengthy interview with Dread Central, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES star Andy Serkis talked about what the apes have been up to since the events in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and revealed some new plot details for his upcoming movie.
Andy Serkis says the apes have come a long way since RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and you'll see both the ape and human sides of the story in DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.
To be able to play characters which are apes that are anthropomorphic to the point where we can really see the human condition, and all of its difficulties and complications... It sets up a world where you're finally in a beautiful, utopian Garden of Eden really, that is suddenly shattered in a violent and dramatic way.
Caesar ten years on since yesterday, he's galvanized all these tribes of apes, and it's succeeding, it's working. The next generation is becoming educated; the design of their community reflects their intelligence. They are resourceful, they can build aqueducts, they have plentiful food supplies, they respect each other as different species: Gorilla, Orangutan, Chimpanzee can all speak equally and communicate equally. Until the arrival of human beings, who, by the way, are not the villains of the film! They are also a species who are very much suffering from being almost completely wiped out.
So we're encouraged to see really both sides, the human and the ape, of the story. It's not over celebrating a peaceful ape community at all but realizing that both sides have complexities and necessities and things that drive them, and what they're prepared to do to save their own tribe.
Andy Serkis goes on to talk about how he feels THE PLANET OF THE APES movies have always been metaphors for civil rights struggles.
I think these films were always about civil rights, and I think that metaphor carries through and resonates with audiences worldwide. Why do you think the Apes franchise has endured so long? Because anthropomorphizing is something that we do, even with our pets, and we do that because we have grown further away from animals and are encouraged to see ourselves as an elevated species; when in fact we could learn quite a bit more from animals. And we learn so much more from apes, because they are so close to us genetically.
I don't think there's one specific metaphor; when Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out, the Arab spring was happening, there were riots in London, there was an attitude of real unrest and people wanting change, and being oppressed, and standing up and saying, “I've had enough,” and not knowing what's going to happen next. And we're still in the throes of that worldwide. The beginning of this movie is setting up a society, which may or may not work but seems to be working, until something else happens that conflicts with that.
Serkis also says his facial expressions used in the movie are his own, and not just a CGI.
The facial expressions are directed. My children were actually watching last night, and they recognize Caesar totally as me... and did with Kong and with Gollum, sadly. Because the technology, the fidelity to replicate the nuanced performance choices of the actor is so close now! When you see the side-by-sides, it's fantastic.
I have a feeling DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is going to be a huge hit this summer, and it certainly seems like the film will be less "good vs evil," and more about each group doing whatever it takes to survive. I'm glad director Matt Reeves will be back for a third film, because it looks like he's done a fantastic job with DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES will be in theaters on July 11, 2014.
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