CMU School of Drama

Monday, July 17, 2017

Planet of the Apes movement coach Terry Notary on the secret to the films' stunning performances

The Verge: Planet of the Apes movement choreographer and actor Terry Notary says playing an ape takes strong legs and an ability to reach a kind of effortless, meditative state. If performers consciously try too hard to take on ape-like qualities, Notary says, it “makes the performance look crappy.”

Crappy ape performances would have killed War for the Planet of the Apes, the latest installment in the Apes franchise. Human characters spend much less time on-screen than hyper-intelligent chimp Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his band of smart apes. By this point in the film series, most of humankind has succumbed to the simian flu, a virus that all but eradicated human populations while boosting the brainpower of non-human primates. The last surviving people are hell-bent on destroying the remaining apes, who just want to find a peaceful home in a post-apocalyptic world.

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