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A ‘brilliant reflector of the human condition:’ Andy Serkis returns in War for the Planet of the Apes

There’s a whole lot of learning to be done from apes, said Andy Serkis, Hollywood’s go-to motion-capture performer and star of War for the Planet of the Apes.

“From a storytelling perspective, from a sort of metaphor perspective, they just serve — constantly serve — to be this brilliant reflector of the human condition,” Serkis, who portrays ape leader Caesar, told CBC News.

The latest instalment is set a few months after 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with humans and apes embroiled in a bitter war. The humans are led by The Colonel, a ruthless, ape-hating villain played by Woody Harrelson.

Film Review - War For the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes continues the story first introduced in the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes (Planet of the Apes). (Twentieth Century Fox/Associated Press)

Filmed in British Columbia, War for the Planet of the Apes also includes Amiah Miller, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer and Karin Konoval in its cast.

For Vancouver actor-dancer Konoval, who also played orangutan Maurice in the last two Apes films, the role has offered a different kind of acting challenge.

This latest Apes trilogy has relied heavily on advanced computer animation and performance capture techniques to vividly depict the apes.

“In terms of being an actor, it’s the same job in performance capture as it is in any other role as an actor wearing normal clothes — it’s just a heck of a lot harder,” she said. 

Serkis and Konoval discuss War for the Planet of the Apes, in cinemas Friday, in the video above.

Film Review - War For the Planet of the Apes

Karin Konoval, who reprises her role as the orangutan Maurice (left) in War for the Planet of the Apes. Her character appears here in a scene with co-star Amiah Miller. (Twentieth Century Fox/Associated Press)

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