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Cast & Crew

  • Andy SerkisActor

    English film actor, director and author Andy Serkis is known for his performance capture roles comprising motion capture acting, animation and voice work for such computer-generated characters as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001-2003) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), the eponymous King Kong in the 2005 film, Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Captain Haddock / Sir Francis Haddock in Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015). Serkis earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for his portrayal of serial killer Ian Brady in the British television film Longford (2006), and was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his portrayal of new wave and punk rock musician Ian Dury in the biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010). In 2015, he had a small role in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Serkis has his own motion capture workshop, The Imaginarium Studios in London, which he will use for his directorial debut, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018). Andrew Clement G. Serkis was born April 20, 1964, in Ruislip Manor, West London, England. He has three sisters and a brother. His father, Clement Serkis, an ethnic Armenian whose original family surname was Serkissian, was a medical doctor working abroad, in Iraq; the Serkis family spent time around the Middle East, and for the first ten years of his life, Andy traveled between Baghdad and London. His mother, Lylie (Weech), who is British-born, was busy working as a special education teacher of handicapped children, so Andy and his four siblings were raised with au pairs in the house. Young Serkis wanted to be an artist; he was fond of painting and drawing, and visualized himself working behind the scenes. He attended St. Benedict's School, a Roman Catholic School for boys at the Benedictine Abbey in London. Serkis studied visual arts at Lancaster University in the north-west of England. There, he became involved in mechanical aspects of the theatre and did stage design and set building for theatrical productions. Then, Serkis was asked to play a role in a student production, and made his stage debut in Barrie Keeffe's play, "Gotcha"; thereafter, he switched from stage design to acting, which was a real calling that transformed his life. Instead of going to an acting college, Serkis, in 1985, began his professional acting career at the Duke's Playhouse in Lancaster, where he was given an Equity card and performed in fourteen plays, one after another, as an apprentice of Jonathan Petherbridge. After that, he worked in touring theatre companies, doing it for no money, fueled by a sense of enthusiasm, moving to a new town every week. He has thus appeared in a host of popular plays and on almost every renowned British stage. In 1989, he appeared in a stage production of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", so beginning his long association with the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where he would return many times, to appear in "She Stoops to Conquer", "Your Home in the West" and the "True Nature of Love", among other plays. In the 1990s, Serkis began to make his mark on the London stage, appearing at the Royal Court Theatre as "The Fool" in "King Lear", making his interpretation of "The Fool" as the woman that "Lear", a widower, could relate to - a man, in drag, as a Victorian musician. He also appeared as "Potts" in the hit play, "Mojo", playing in front of full houses and earning huge critical success. In 1987, Serkis made his debut on television, and he acted in several major British TV miniseries throughout the 1990s. In 1999, Andy Serkis landed the prize role of "Gollum" in Peter Jackson's epic film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's saga, "The Lord of the Rings". He spent four years in the part and received awards and nominations for his performance as "Gollum", a computer-generated character in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), which won 11 Oscars. "Gollum" was the collaborative team's effort around Serkis's work in performance capture - an art form based on CGI-assisted acting. Serkis's work was an interactive performance in a skin-tight CGI suit with markers allowing cameras to track and register 3D position for each marker. Serkis' every nuance was picked up by several cameras positioned at precisely calculated angles to allow for the software to see enough information to process the image. The images of Serkis' performances were translated into the digital format by animators at Weta Digital studio in New Zealand. There, his image was key-frame animated and then edited into the movie, Serkis did have one scene in "The Return of the King" showing how he originally had the ring, killing another hobbit to posses it after they found it during a fishing trip. He drew from his three cats clearing fur balls out of their throats to develop the constricted voice he produced for "Gollum" and "Sméagol", and it was also enhanced by sound editing in post-production. Serkis spent almost two years in New Zealand and away from his family, and much of 2002 and 2003 in post-production studios for large periods of time, due to complexity of the creative process of bringing the character of "Gollum" to the screen. Serkis had to shoot two versions for every scene; one version was with him on camera, acting with (chiefly) Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, which served both to show Wood and Astin the moves so that they could precisely interact with the movements of "Gollum", and to provide the CGI artists the subtleties of Gollum's physical movements and facial expressions for their manual finishing of the animated images. In the other version, he'd go the voice off-camera, as Wood and Astin repeated their movements as though "Gollum" were there with them; that take would be the basis for inserting the CGI Gollum used in the released movie. In post-production, Serkis was doing motion-capture wearing a skintight motion capture suit with CGI gear while acting as a virtual puppeteer redoing every single scene in the studio. Additional CGI rotomation was done by animators using the human eye instead of the computer to capture the subtleties of Serkis' performance. Serkis also used this art form in his performance as "Kong" in King Kong (2005), which won him a Toronto Film Critics Association Award (2005) for his unprecedented work helping to realize the main character in "King Kong", and a Visual Effects Society Award (2006) for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture. Apart from his line of CGI-driven characters, Serkis continued with traditional acting in several leading and supporting roles, such as his appearances as "Richard Kneeland" opposite Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30 (2004), and "Alley" opposite David Bowie in The Prestige (2006), among other film performances. On television, he starred as 'Vincent Van Gogh' in the sixth episode of Simon Schama's Power of Art (2006), the BBC2 series about artists. Serkis is billed as "Capricorn" in the upcoming adventure film, Inkheart (2008). At the same time, he continued the development of performance capture while expanding his career into computer games. He starred as "King Bothan" in the martial arts drama, Heavenly Sword (2007), a Playstation 3 title, for which he provided a basis for his in-game face and also acts as a dramatic director on the project. Andy Serkis married actress and singer Lorraine Ashbourne, and the couple have three children: daughter Ruby Serkis (born in 1998), and two sons Sonny Serkis (born in 2000) and Louis Ashbourne Serkis (born on 19 June 2004), who is now also a movie star. Away from acting, Andy Serkis is an accomplished amateur painter. Since his school years at Lancaster, being so close to the Lake District, Serkis developed his other passion in life: mountaineering. He is a pescetarian. Serkis has been active in charitable causes, such as The Hope Foundation, which provides essential life-saving medical aid for children suffering from Leukemia and children from countries devastated by war. In October 2006, he was a presenter at the first annual British Academy Video Games Awards at the Roundhouse, London. Andy Serkis lives with his family in North London, England.
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  • Elijah WoodActor

    Elijah Wood is an American actor best known for portraying Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy. In addition to reprising the role in The Hobbit series, Wood also played Ryan in the FX television comedy Wilfred (2011) and voiced Beck in the Disney XD animated television series TRON: Uprising (2012). Born Elijah Jordan Wood on 28 January, 1981, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wood is the son of Debbie (Krause) and Warren Wood, who ran a delicatessen. He has an older brother, Zach, and a younger sister, Hannah Wood. He is of English, German, Austrian, and Danish descent. Demonstrating a gift for performing at a young age, Wood's natural talent inspired his mother to take him to an International Modeling and Talent Association annual convention in Los Angeles. Soon after, he began to get bookings for small parts on television. Although his first credit was a small part in Back to the Future Part II (1989), Wood's first major film role was in the 'Barry Levinson' historical family drama Avalon (1990). Following that, Wood became an in-demand child actor, appearing in a number of major films such as Paradise (1991), Radio Flyer (1992) and The Good Son (1993), in which he co-starred with Macaulay Culkin. This was followed by the first role for which he received top-billing, North (1994). Although the film was widely condemned and a disaster at the box office, Elijah was praised as the only good thing to come out of it. In 1996 Elijah starred in a movie remake of an old TV show, Flipper (1996). Many critics wondered if his ability as a child actor to capture an audience was wearing thin, as had many child actors', but Wood deftly transitioned into a versatile performer with roles such as the endlessly curious Mikey Carver in Ang Lee' ensemble film The Ice Storm (1997), as well as parts in popcorn flicks like Deep Impact (1998) and The Faculty (1998). In 1999, Elijah was in three movies that never made it into wide release: The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999) (released on satellite TV), Black & White (1999) (released on home video) and Chain of Fools (2000). Wood's work in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), provided a major boost to his career. The actor followed his work in the astronomically successful trilogy with a broad range of interesting screen roles and voice work, including a supporting role in Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), as well as the part of a sinister mute sociopath in Sin City (2005). His voice work has been featured in such animated films as Happy Feet (2006) and 9 (2009), as well as on television series including American Dad! (2005) and Robot Chicken (2005). Wood also played Ad-Rock in the Beastie Boys' comedic video for Beastie Boys: Fight for Your Right Revisited (2011). An avid music fan, Wood founded Simian records and released its first album, New Magnetic Wonder by The Apples in Stereo, in 2007.
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  • Ian McKellenActor

    Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in the UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (Sutcliffe) and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer and lay preacher. He is of Scottish, Northern Irish, and English descent. During his early childhood, his parents moved with Ian and his older sister, Jean, to the mill town of Wigan. It was in this small town that young Ian rode out World War II. He soon developed a fascination with acting and the theatre, which was encouraged by his parents. They would take him to plays, those by William Shakespeare, in particular. The amateur school productions fostered Ian's growing passion for theatre. When Ian was of age to begin attending school, he made sure to get roles in all of the productions. At Bolton School in particular, he developed his skills early on. Indeed, his first role in a Shakespearian play was at Bolton, as Malvolio in "Twelfth Night". Ian soon began attending Stratford-upon-Avon theatre festivals, where he saw the greats perform: Laurence Olivier, Wendy Hiller, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Paul Robeson. He continued his education in English Drama, but soon it fell by the wayside as he concentrated more and more on performing. He eventually obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1961, and began his career in earnest. McKellen began working in theatre over the next few years. Very few people knew of Ian's homosexuality; he saw no reason to go public, nor had he told his family. They did not seem interested in the subject and so he saw no reason to bring it up. In 1988, Ian publicly came out of the closet on the BBC Radio 4 program, while discussing Margaret Thatcher's "Section 28" legislation, which made the promotion of homosexuality as a family relationship by local authorities an offense. It was reason enough for McKellen to take a stand. He has been active in the gay rights movement ever since. Ian resides in Limehouse, where he has also lived with his former long-time partner Sean Mathias. The two men have also worked together on the film Bent (1997) as well as in exquisite stage productions. To this day, McKellen works mostly in theatre, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for his efforts in the arts. However, he has managed to make several quite successful forays into film. He has appeared in several productions of Shakespeare's works including his well received Richard III (1995), and in a variety of other movies. However, it has only been recently that his star has finally begun to shine in the eyes of North American audiences. Roles in various films, Cold Comfort Farm (1995), Apt Pupil (1998) and Gods and Monsters (1998), riveted audiences. The latter, in particular, created a sensation in Hollywood, and McKellen's role garnered him several of awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe and an Oscar nod. McKellen, as he continues to work extensively on stage, he always keeps in 'solidifying' his 'role' as Laurence Olivier's worthy 'successor' in the best sense too, such as King Lear (2008) / King Lear (2008) directed by Trevor Nunn and in a range of other staggering performances full of generously euphoric delight that have included "Peter Pan" and Noël Coward's "Present Laughter", as well as Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" and Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land" (National Theatre Live: No Man's Land (2016)), both in acclaimed productions brilliantly directed by Sean Mathias. McKellen found mainstream success with his performance as Magneto in X-Men (2000) and its sequels. His largest mark on the big screen may be as Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, which he reprised in "The Hobbit" trilogy. He also reprised the role of 'King Lear' with new artistic perspectives in National Theatre Live: King Lear (2018) offering an invaluable mesmerizing experience as a natural force of stage - and screen - of infinite generosity through his unsurpassable interpretation of the titanically vulnerable king.
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  • Sean AstinActor

    Sean Patrick Astin (né Duke; February 25, 1971) is an American actor, voice actor, screenwriter, director, producer, family man, author, marathon runner, political activist and philanthropist who is well known for his film debut portraying Mikey in Steven Spielberg's The Goonies (1985), for playing the title role in the critically acclaimed Rudy (1993), and for his role as the beloved Sam Gamgee in the Academy Award winning trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Astin was born Sean Patrick Duke on February 25, 1971 in Santa Monica, California. His mother was actress Patty Duke. At the time of his birth, his biological father was believed to be entertainer Desi Arnaz Jr., but Astin discovered through a DNA test in the 1990s that his biological father is music promoter Michael Tell, who was married to Patty Duke in 1970. Sean was raised by his stepfather, actor John Astin, who married Patty Duke in 1972 and whose surname Sean took. Sean's mother was of Irish and more distant German ancestry, and Sean's biological father is of Austrian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent. At age nine, Sean starred with his mother in the after-school special Please Don't Hit Me, Mom (1981). Followed by Sean's feature debut The Goonies (1985) and since then, he has had a steady stream of roles. Starring in Toy Soldiers (1991), Where the Day Takes You (1992), Rudy (1993) and Harrison Bergeron (1995). He directed and co-produced the short film Kangaroo Court (1994), which was nominated in the best short film category at The 67th Annual Academy Awards (1995). Sean's adoptive father John Astin was nominated for the same award in 1969. Sean experienced another career breakthrough with his role as the epitome of loyal sidekicks, Samwise Gamgee, in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, released in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Along with the many awards bestowed upon the trilogy (particularly its final installment The Return of the King), Sean received nominations for his own performance. He took home the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor, and awards from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, the Seattle Film Critics, the Utah Film Critics Association, and the Phoenix Film Critics Society. As an ensemble, the Return of the King cast received awards from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures and the Screen Actors Guild. In 2004, Sean authored the NY Times best seller "There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale," chronicling his acting career with emphasis on his experiences filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Sean has been a long-distance runner since his teens. His marathons include the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, where he had the honor of officially starting the race, the 2015 Boston Marathon as a member of charity fund-raising team MR8, and the New York City Marathon in 2016. He has done numerous half marathons and countless 5Ks, 10Ks, and races of other distances. He successfully completed the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, in October 2015; the grueling event consisted of a 2.4 mile open ocean swim, a 112 mile bike race and a 26.2 mile marathon. In 2012, while training for the LA Marathon, he began a Twitter campaign using #Run3rd, a way to dedicate his runs to causes and ideas that mattered not just to him, but to others. The principle of #Run3rd is that Sean runs first for himself, since running is ultimately a solitary act, second for his ever-patient and supportive family, and third for others. #Run3rd has grown to include a team of runners, walkers, and others who dedicate their activities to the causes of others. A $25,000 grant from the Ironman Foundation will allow the charity to fund after school running programs for children in under-served school districts. More information on #Run3rd, including sponsored 5Ks, is available at run3rd.com. Sean has served as a philanthropist on the board of several non-profit organizations, including the Creative Coalition, National Center for Family Literacy, and Los Angeles Valley College's Patrons Association and Arts Council. He is a vocal advocate on many issues including literacy, mental health awareness and civic engagement. After the passing of his mother in late March 2016, Sean began fund-raising to create a foundation to carry on her life's work as an advocate for mental health Politically, Sean has been very active having served in two non-partisan Presidential appointments. Sean also hosts a live weekly 2 hour in-studio bi-partisan political radio talk show, 'Vox Populi Radio' which was made possible by a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2013. In 2004, Sean broke into the publishing world and authored the NY Times Best Selling release of There and Back Again a memoir of his film career (co-written with Joe Layden). In addition to acting in live action films and television, Sean is also an accomplished voice actor. He has voiced several different characters in animated series, cartoons, animated movies, anime dubs and video games. His voice is also familiar to many. He narrated the Animal Planet series "Meerkat Manor" (2006-2007), and voiced the title characters in the animated Disney Channel series "Special Agent Oso" (2009-2012) and the animated feature film "Ribbit" (2014). He was the voice of Raphael in Nickelodeon's popular "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (2012-2017) as well as it's video games. He voiced the paranoid Siamese cat Chester in "Bunnicula" (2016-2018), a Warner Brothers produced series based on children's books by James Howe and narrates "The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants" (2018-2019) a series on Netflix, based on the Dav Pilkey's children's books. He can be heard in a plethora of other animated shows, anime dubs, video games, audio dramas and narrations. More recently, Sean was the Narrator of the Documentary called Remember the Sultana, which released on March 1st, 2018. After four decades in front of camera or microphone, Sean has ventured in front of a theater audience, first as Joseph Stalin in a multimedia stage production of "Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Fantasy," (2018-2019) and then as Dr. Moricet in "Bang Bang!" (2018), John Cleese's adaptation of a 19th century French farce. Sean is also comfortable behind the camera, directing episodic TV and serving as producer on several films. He directed and co-produced with his wife Christine the short film "Kangaroo Court," nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1995. While working on "The Lord of the Rings," Sean made "The Long and Short of It." The film premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and appears on the DVD for "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," along with a making-of video. He is currently working to bring "Number the Stars," based on Lois Lowry's Newbery Award winning children's classic, to the big screen. While maintaining a career as a professional actor (in live action films and television) and a voice actor for characters in animated series, cartoons, animated movies, anime dubs and video games, Sean is also a political activist. Sean has been actively engaged in the political world since early in his life. He served in two non-partisan Presidential appointments. In 1995, under President Bill Clinton, he became a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, serving for 10 years under six secretaries in two administrations. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to his Council on Service and Civic Participation, whose mission was to promote a culture of volunteerism and civic engagement. He campaigned for presidential candidates John Kerry in 2004, and Hillary Clinton in 2008 and 2016. He also served as campaign manager for his friend, Dan Adler, in a special election for California's 36th congressional district race in 2011. Sean attended Crossroads High School for the Arts and studied with the famous Stella Adler. He graduated with honors from UCLA; B.A. in History & B.A. in English American Literature and Culture. Sean is married to Christine Astin, his co-producer on Kangaroo Court (1994). He resides in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Christine Louise and daughters Alexandra (Ali) Louise, Elizabeth Louise, and Isabella (Bella) Louise. All of his daughters attend Harvard University.
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  • Viggo MortensonActor

  • Sean BeanActor

    Sean Bean's career since the eighties spans theatre, radio, television and movies. Bean was born in Handsworth, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, to Rita (Tuckwood) and Brian Bean. He worked for his father's welding firm before he decided to become an actor. He attended RADA in London and appeared in a number of West End stage productions including RSC's "Fair Maid of the West" (Spencer), (1986) and "Romeo and Juliet" (1987) (Romeo) , as well as "Deathwatch" (Lederer) (1985) at the Young Vic and "Killing the Cat" (Danny) (1990) at the Theatre Upstairs. This soulful, green-eyed blonde's roles are so varied that his magnetic persona convincing plays angst-ridden villains, as in Clarissa (1991), passionate lovers like Mellors in Lady Chatterley (1993), rough-and-ready soldiers such as Richard Sharpe, heart wrenching warriors as the emotionally torn Boromir in "The Lord of the Rings," and noble Greeks, like Odysseus in Troy (2004), where his very presence in the film adds grace and validity to the rest of the movie. Recently, he did a turn in Shakespeare's "Macbeth," where as the principal lead, he so transfixed the audience that the show was extended in London and critically acclaimed. Bean, however, remains himself, a man's man, and in the glitzy world of movies this is a rare thing indeed. Bean resides in London where he enjoys raising his beautiful daughters, his beloved football, and the occasional pint. Bean has three daughters, Lorna, Molly and Evie.
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