Last May, it was revealed that accomplished performance capture actor Andy Serkis has been acting as a consultant on the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Specifically, he’s been helping out Mark Ruffalo with his performance as The Hulk. However, in a recent interview with Variety, Serkis revealed that his involvement isn’t just limited to coaching. In fact, he’ll have a role in the upcoming sequel. Despite teasing said role, when the interviewer asked whether we would see his face in the film, Serkis wouldn’t divulge anything.
I’m not at liberty to mention. But it’s all the same to me. I’ve never drawn a distinction when playing a role, whether it be live action or performance capture. Acting is acting. It’s just basically what you wear to the set that’s different.
Serkis also went into more detail about how he’s helping Ruffalo on set, much of which has to do with more sophisticated technology compared to the last movie.
Performance capture was used on the previous “Hulk,” but not to the same extent Mark is using it now. There are tools and ways of working with an actor that makes them feel that they own the character. And a character the size of the Hulk needs ownership, which Mark has now.
The man has carved himself a niche playing digitally created characters over the years, from Gollum to King Kong to Caesar the ape. However, don’t forget that this guy is a great actor even without all the fancy digital covering. Hulk and Ultron are the two primary digital characters in the movie (although a few of Ultron’s drones may also be played by real people as well), so the performance capture roles are all taken care of.
Why not just have Serkis play a regular human? It gives the guy an opportunity to play a normal role, and if as many people as I suspect don’t know what Serkis looks like in real life, it’ll be hilarious when they don’t recognize the guy who tried to steal Frodo’s ring over 10 years ago. Well, it’ll be hilarious to me.