We all know Godzilla opened this weekend to mildly positive reviews and wild box office success, but a lot of people are burying the lede here: none of it could’ve happened without mo-cap genius Andy Serkis, who used his unmatched skills as a thespian to explore why Godzilla cries “BAANAAAAA!”
Here’s my favorite piece of IMDB trivia:
I thought it might be a joke at first, but nope, no, director Gareth Edwards did consult with Andy Serkis, drawing on his vast experience portraying mythological creatures.
With Godzilla now in Irish cinemas, director Gareth Edwards has told RTÉ TEN that Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis’ work as a motion capture consultant on his film forced him to discover the monster’s identity.
Edwards said of Serkis: “Andy’s this genius actor. I think he’s phenomenal – forget motion capture, he’s just a great actor.”
He continued: “It’s funny, because with every actor, whoever you meet, the sort of cliché is, ‘What’s my motivation?’. In some way or other they all ask that question.
“And so Andy was like, ‘What’s Godzilla’s motivation? What’s he trying to do? What’s he thinking? What does he want?’ It’s a really important question to ask and he prised it out of me.”
I like to imagine Andy Serkis sitting in a coffee shop somewhere, a giant rubber godzilla head on, sipping espresso, smoking a cigarette, quietly staring off into the middle distance muttering to himself “but what is it I really want?”
What drives Godzilla? I believe it’s a mixture of ennui, and an intense desire to kill stuff with his stabby tail spikes. BAAANAA!! BAAANAAAA!
It’s his willingness to explore these existential lizard questions that makes Andy Serkis one of of our bravest actors. So, so brave.
The Andy Serkis bit starts at 3:48. Thanks to Matthew for the tip.