Andy Serkis: God Save The Queen's English

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Andy Serkis.

In his Ask Me Another Challenge, Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Lord of the Rings) helps expand your vocabulary to include a spot of British slang. Any idea what the "collywobbles" are, or what happens when you throw on a "boob tube" before leaving the house? You'll be speaking like a Brit in no time.

Plus, Serkis explains the origin of Gollum's voice (which he later left on the answering machine of our grand prize winner), and offers a quick tease of his as-yet-unannounced role in J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Wars film, Episode VII.

Interview Highlights

On preparing to play the roles of King Kong and Caesar

I spent a lot of time researching apes. For King Kong I went to Rwanda and watched gorillas in the wild, and studied apes in zoos. I observed the differences between apes in captivity, which reflect human behavior a lot more in their rhythms, and those in Rwanda, which are like blissed-out hippies, they were incredibly relaxed and wonderful to be around. You take all this research, and then it's all about character. And Caesar is a very complex ape.

On the origin of Gollum's voice

He's called Gollum because of the way he sounds, according to Tolkien. So I based it around the notion that he was addicted to the ring, but mostly it was because he was guilty over the murder of his cousin – because of course he kills his cousin to take the ring. He strangles his cousin, so really for him, he carries the memory and the guilt in his throat. But I also wanted something involuntary, like a spasm, that forces Gollum's voice out. So I based it on my cat (Diz, after Dizzy Gillespie) coughing up fur balls.

On his upcoming role in the new Star Wars film

I'm not Yoda.

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