Andy Serkis on Channeling Nelson Mandela for 'Planet of the Apes' and "Grieving" the End of the Trilogy

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of 1968's Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis, who stars in the rebooted Apes trilogy that started in 2014 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, says that it's a "testament" to the original film. "It's such a powerful metaphor to see the world through the eyes of apes and see something about the human condition. The passion hasn't gone away."

The finale installment of the Apes series, War for the Planet of the Apes — which is now out on Blu-ray and DVD — marks the end of Caesar's journey, a role that Serkis refers to as the role of a lifetime. "It's incredibly rare for an actor to get to play a character from birth to death over the course of three movies," he explains. "Not only that but a character is a truly evolving character — going from a pure chimpanzee all the way through to a revolutionary leader. I'm actually going through a process of grieving it. It was a really great time."

Because of the evolution Caesar goes through the course of the trilogy, Serkis found inspiration for different stages of Caesar's life. At the beginning, Serkis based Caesar on a real chimpanzee, Oliver, who was also known as the "humanzee" since he was known to walk completely upright. As Caesar develops into a leader of a new society, Serkis looked for "intelligent, powerful but egalitarian leader" and instantly thought of Nelson Mandela. 

Watch the full interview in the above where Serkis dives into the art of motion capture acting and more.

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