Andy Serkis Talks Gollum in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

The motion-capture actor and second unit director says that Gollum is printed into his DNA.

Andy Serkis discusses portraying Gollum in The Hobbit
Andy Serkis discusses portraying Gollum in The Hobbit
Production continues in New Zealand on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which marks the return of Andy Serkis, reprising his Gollum role from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Andy Serkis recently revealed that it didn't take long for him to get back into character.

"Gollum is never really gone too far away from me because he's indelibly kind of printed into my DNA now, I think. I'll tell you what was weird is going back and playing a character that has been so sort of absorbed into public consciousness that you almost don't feel like you own it anymore. And to sort of gather it back, I mean, I did feel, I think, probably in the first couple of days going back into it that I was sort of doing a weird impersonation of him rather than being him because there have been so many spoofs and people's impersonations and so on, and some people's impersonations are really great. And I'm kind of thinking, 'Oh gosh, that's how to do it, yeah.' And you know, then you get back into it. Meaningfully getting back into it was really exciting."

The actor also talked about how doing Gollum's voice 'thrashed' his vocal chords in the original trilogy, and revealed his recipe for "Gollum Juice."

"I think my vocal chords are so thrashed that I don't really feel anything anymore there. During Lord of the Rings, I used to have to drink tons of what we call Gollum juice, which was lemon and honey and ginger. And actually when I went back to do The Hobbit this time, to reprise the role, I did, probably kind of more romantically and sort of nostalgically, get people to whip up a few bowls of Gollum juice which I used to drink. But it doesn't really hurt, to be honest, anymore."

Andy Serkis also spoke about working with director Peter Jackson, and his work as the second unit director on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

"Peter has just been the most phenomenal mentor, supporter, friend, collaborator. I cherish working with him so much, and this incredible journey that he's sort of set me off on, really. Because I'm working on The Hobbit not only as Gollum, but I'm directing the second unit. I actually went down there for two weeks to reprise the role of Gollum, and I basically stayed for a year to direct the second unit. So that's thrilling. I'm really, really enjoying that and getting a chance to work with him from another angle. I'm being his kind of eyes and years for the second unit, really. We've just been on location for two months shooting the most beautiful places in New Zealand. That's been extraordinary. I love working with Pete, and everything that he's created at WETA. The whole team, the whole outfit in New Zealand in Wellington, is a very, very special, wonderful place that I keep willingly returning to."

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released December 14th, 2012 and stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter. The film is directed by Peter Jackson.

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Comments (8)

  1. Newtron

    @ROFLitschristian : Agreed.

    3 years agoby @newtronFlag

  2. ROFLitschristian

    After the original trilogy, Kong, and Apes, I'll watch anything this man's in.

    3 years agoby @ROFLitschristianFlag

  3. Thomas Clarke (Kiion)

    @ XxNickTheFilmCriticXx
    He is the king of mo-cap performance, no one comes close. When I watched the making off doc*mentary on the Lotr films, it seemed by accident that he came into the production of that movie, true luck though as the gollum used in the first film looked poor, plus the other films he did wouldn't have been as good.

    3 years agoby @thomasclarkeFlag

  4. slysnide

    Gotta say, that does sound like it'd be an awesome team to be working for.

    3 years agoby @slysnideFlag

  5. Heisenberg

    Andy was f*ckin awesome in Rise of the Planet of the Apes n 4 that I love this f*ckin guy!! :)

    3 years agoby @HeisenbergFlag

  6. Nicholaus XX

    "I'm being his kind of eyes and years(ears***?) for the second unit, really."

    @thomasclarke -- Agreed.

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  7. Thomas Clarke (Kiion)

    No one else could have played gollum. He made it his own, and having Andy back again will only make the hobbit better than it already is going to be

    3 years agoby @thomasclarkeFlag

  8. incmob

    what a great article, i love hearing serkis talk about gollum, he really does own it, and you can tell he has a genuine passion and commitment for the character.

    3 years agoby @incmobFlag

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