Check out this EW clip of Andy Serkis as Snoke, with the computer-generated mask of the battle-scarred First Order ruler removed!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What surprises people when they see you as you, performing a motion capture character?
ANDY SERKIS: I think a lot of people think that you have to almost pantomime the performance or heighten it in some way. Whatís illustrated is, in fact, the opposite. And it would be the same if you were playing Caesar or Gollum for that matter, or any character. You donít exaggerate facial expressions. Youíre not pushing through any false artifact.
As opposed to prosthetics?
Itís the opposite of something like the original Planet of the Apes. They had layers of prosthetic makeup on their face that they had to fight through. I can remember seeing a documentary that Kim Hunter was explaining how she literally had to keep her face moving at all times just to create some sense of life in the character.
Tell me about finding the emotions and physicality of this creature.
Iíve always approached him as someone who is obviously in a position of supreme power, but actually, there is a level of vulnerability about the character. The way that his face is caved in, he has those deep scarifications. His skullís almost been crushed.
Itís amazing to see the same smugness and cruelty on your face that we see in Snoke.
I take my cues from very much his bone structure, his physiognomy, his gimletty eyes. Again itís all drawn from trying to breathe life into a character by being inspired by the look of it too, by the mask that youíre playing.
He also seems very unstable. Like heís trying too hard to be grandiose.
He knows that as a leader you run the risk of people rebelling, you run the risk of people turning against you, the people that are closest to you. Even in that position of power, there is a level of fear. When youíre operating from a level of fear, you operate dangerously as a leader. As we know across the world, there are leaders who have famously done that ó and do. Thatís what I really wanted to bring to the character. Thereís this incredible danger and volatility.
As part of this clip, we see you draw the lightsaber to your hand. Did they throw this lightsaber to you, and you just casually caught it? Or is there a trick there?
[Laughs] Oh, no. No, that was definitely a visual effect.
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