Two Towers’ Gollum Gets Oscar Buzz

An article in the Los Angeles Times today notes that a recent screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers for members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences generated the latest Oscar buzz for Best Actor consideration.

Although it never appears on screen, the face of Andy Serkis may appear in one of the nominee boxes when the Academy Award for Best Actor is announced. The accomplished Shakespearean stage player lends his voice and motion-captured movements to the character of Gollum, a wretched, greed-driven creature, realized through the magic of CG.

Should Serkis get the nod, it would be the first time an actor is nominated in the category for portraying an animated character. However, the L.A. Times article quotes Russell Schwartz, president of domestic marketing for New Line Cinema, contending that there’s no difference between Serkis’ performance and John Hurt’s Oscar-winning portrayal of John Merrick in The Elephant Man. The only difference, according to Schwartz, is that Serkis had to act through a CG mask rather than layers of make-up.

Fans of the film will have to wait until the nominees are announced on Feb. 11 to see if Gollum abandons the quest for his precious ring and joins the race for the coveted gold statuette.

See our feature on the making of Gollum in the Dec./Jan. issue of Animation Magazine.