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Planet of the Apes 2024: ‘My Thighs Got Huge’… A Real Physical Challenge for the New Kingdom Cast!

Planet of the Apes: The New Kingdom opened in theaters on May 8 and has already won over 800,000 viewers. Just like the trilogy that began in 2011, this new opus in the saga uses performance capture to interpret the primates.

The technique involves covering the actors in suits full of sensors so they can digitally create the monkeys in post-production. James Cameron uses the same process to bring the boat to life in Avatar.

In Origins, The Showdown and Supremacy, it was Andy Serkis who portrayed the hero Caesar. When we talk about motion capture, we obviously think about it. The actor is a pioneer of technology with unforgettable incarnations of Gollum in Lord of the Rings, the giant gorilla in King Kong or of course Caesar in Planet of the Apes.

He also played Baloo in Mowgli or Snoke in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. However, we often forget that there is another great actor behind the success of the Planet of the Apes saga…

how do you play primate

In October 2015, AlloCiné had the chance to move Planet of the Apes: Supremacy, the last part of the saga before New Kingdom. We were then able to speak with the man who is considered the best in the world today in the art of simian interpretation.

Set in the middle of the Canadian forest, his character’s natural setting combined with a performance-shoot, Terry Notar, who plays the role of the monkey, gives us some secrets:

“A lot of our rehearsals with the actors were going out in nature, sitting for an hour and being quiet. We weren’t talking. You might think it’s easy, but it’s not. It’s not about being in the present, it’s really, really easy to be quiet.”The actor emphasized.

“When you take external things and make them necessary, you become invisible and you are no longer playing, you are. It is unimaginable. Your performance disappears. You lose yourself in this work, which becomes more important than you, and you stop identifying with yourself. Directing yourself, your performance becomes real and That’s what makes these movies work.”

Terry Notary Public, forerunner

Terry Notary is a former gymnast who spent several years with Cirque du Soleil. His talent eventually led him to work on set. He is the one who trains the actors of Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes to get into the skin of their characters.

He gained real-world experience on the subject after carefully observing primates at the Los Angeles Zoo. This know-how allows him to run a real “monkey school” with other artists.

For example, in Showdown, Judy Greer (Cornelia) and Toby Kebbell (Koba) had to learn before they could embody their ape-like character to move and physically act like chimpanzees to make their alter egos ultra-realistic. Digital ego on screen.

They were tutored personally by Terry Notary for several weeks, including simulating arm lengths using crutches. Greer believed that he should go with his instincts and not think too much about his acting in order to best get into the skin of the character.

The new monkey coach

Terry Notary is not returning to the New Kingdom, leaving Alain Gauthier as Chair of Ape Behavior Specialist. Like Notary, the latter worked with Cirque du Soleil as a choreographer.

Alongside him, Owen Teague (Noah), Kevin Durant (Proximus Caesar) and the rest of the cast went through intensive training to prepare for the role of primates. “He started us off with a workout he would do for Cirque du Soleil acrobats. It was physical theater work. Also, because he’s a very scientific person, we researched the different types of monkeys we were going to portray.”Owen Teague explained to the agency QMI.

“We looked at their anatomy and biology to establish the format we were going to work in. That’s how we defined our body movements. The other part of our work was to bring these characters out of us, both vocally and physically. It became an extension of our characters.”

Alain Gauthier explains how to play the swinging monkey

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For his part, Kevin Durant highlights the physical challenge presented by the simian incarnation on set. “Alain Gaultier’s work allowed us to completely inhabit the bodies of our apes when we got on set. The shoot was extremely physical.”

“From the first day of Monkey School, I was sitting. Monkeys have much shorter legs than humans, so we had to compensate for the height difference. I admit that I had an easier time shooting because I was shorter than him, who is in all the scenes.” has Kevin Duran clarified.

“My thighs got big, I had to change the size of my pants during filming”, revealed Owen Teague. If you want to practice the art of monkey interpretation, you know what to do! Meanwhile, The New Kingdom continues to hit theaters.


Source: Allocine

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