Andy Serkis has never been nominated for an acting Oscar, which many people will tell you is downright criminal. The actor has pioneered the art of motion-capture performances with acclaimed work in “The Lord of the Rings,” “King Kong,” and the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, and yet the Academy has remained incredibly resistant to nominating his performances. The issue of motion-capture Oscar snubs has been debated for years, but Serkis says progress is being made.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” Serkis told ScreenCrush when asked if the Academy will ever start nominating motion-capture acting. “I mean, the Academy is openly, they’ve written emails to the acting branch saying we have to now acknowledge performance in the broadest sense. So performance-capture, voice talent acting. And they’re asking the question: What is the epitome or the essence of a great performance? It doesn’t just have to mean seeing an actor’s face on screen. It can be manifested using performance-capture. So they’re absolutely on top of it.”
“I think they see it as important as other areas of diversity, so there isn’t prejudice against a particular type of acting,” Serkis continued. “So I think we’ll see in the future, hopefully, people like Doug Jones in ‘The Shape of Water.’ They’re widening the remit. Otherwise these performances get overlooked.”
Serkis may be hopeful for the future, but he’s also a little disappointed that “War for the Planet of the Apes” couldn’t break through and make history at the Oscars. The actor said motion-capture performances by Karin Konoval and Steve Zahn in the third “Planet of the Apes” installment should’ve certainly been recognized by the Academy. The film’s only nomination was for visual effects, which Serkis feels was a “short shrift.”
“There are some extraordinary performances in it from Karin Konoval to Steve Zahn, who played Bad Ape,” Serkis said. “You know, Woody Harrelson in that was terrific too. I think it was overlooked, I have to say, and I’m very biased because it’s a film that’s very close to my heart. I do think that Matt [Reeves]‘s direction and storytelling and what that film means and is, I think was given short shrift really. I think it’s an important movie, really.”
Serkis also showed off his motion-capture skills recently as Supreme Leader Snoke in “Star War: The Last Jedi.” He can next be seen on the big screen in the flesh as one of the villains in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” in theaters February 16.