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Serkis’s Work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Last weekend, Rise of the Planet of the Apes did surprisingly well at the box office, buoyed by its overall awesomeness and a heart-pulling motion-capture performance from Andy Serkis as the sympathetic, wise, badass, ape-hero Caesar. (Debate the particulars of his catchphrase all you want: he did spawn one.) Serkis's performance is so good that, all the way back when last week, he was accruing Oscar buzz. In the week since, the buzz has been downgraded: Now it's mostly about how unfair it is that he will never be nominated for an Oscar. But perhaps that's because people don't really know what Serkis had to do for the role: Sure, they've seen a few images of him jumping around in a mo-cap suit, but they haven't seen enough images of him jumping around in a mo-cap suit. If they had, the buzz would never die. Keeping a straight face while acting across from James Franco is hard enough; keeping a straight face while acting across from James Franco in ill-fitting, package-hugging scuba gear when you've got a case of neon-green chicken pox and a steampunk torture set strapped to your head? Well, if that's not enough to get a guy his very own castrated gold man, it should be enough to keep everyone talking about how said guy deserves his very own castrated gold man for at least another week. So if you've already seen Rise, or, inspired by good word of mouth, plan to see it this weekend, take a look at the work of the Serk and behold what he is willing to do for his craft.

Photo: 20th Century Fox