Jedi News had previously reported the rumour that Andy Serkis would be playing two characters in The Force Awakens, one of which being part of a “group of unbelievably athletic and acrobatic motion capture characters.” Serkis, talking to Entertainment Weekly, denied this second role, however: “I can say I only play one character.” Later in the interview, he added, “I’m not leading a band of gymnasts or acrobats.”
And although he couldn’t directly confirm that he used performance capture in the film, he did give this response to another question:
[Director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] told me, ‘You’re all over the trailer,’ but I didn’t know what that meant… I thought, ‘Oh great, they’re using the voice of the character I play for the trailer. That’s fantastic.’ Not thinking what that would actually translate into.
My interpretation? He knew only his voice could be used because his character has yet to be fully animated.
The rest of the interview, which is in the form of a 10 question Q&A, reveals very little, except for maybe the fact that the film never had the working title The Ancient Fear.
Serkis’ character is probably the biggest mystery of the entire film. Is he playing Darth Plagueis? It’s all very mysterious… and exciting.