Ms Proudfoot writes:
This weekend (October 24th-26th), a Sci-fi and toy convention was held in Stockholm, and naturally, as the devoted Ringer I am, I was planning to attend, even though it meant travelling across the country. The convention itself was held at the fair and congress hall in Sollentuna, Stockholm, but later that evening a special showing of TTT, with Andy Serkis holding a Q&A session before the film started, was going to be arranged at a smaller theater just outside the town. Andy Serkis was also going to be at the convention during the day, signing stuff.
As me and my friends arrived at the convention hall, we were rather surprised to find that it wasn’t really that crowded… probably because we arrived a bit later than we originally intended to, and most people had already started to go home, which was in fact *very* convinient for us. After taking a quick snack at the coffee shop inside, we headed toward the signing boards at once, at the end of the hall. There were three actors attending, Richard Kiel from “Jaws”, Darth Maul from “Star Wars”, and finally our own Andy Serkis.
Authograps cost 150:-/each, which was actually a quite reasonable price, considering that this was a rather “small” convention and the people behind it probably needed all the money they could get. On the other hand, the actors agreed to sign whatever you liked them to sign, and I had brought my copy of LOTR, that is indeed *very* precious to me, since SO many of my dearest Ringer friends have already signed it, leaving special messages for me.
Andy Serkis clearly seemed to be the actor who enjoyed himself the most of the three. He shook hands with everyone he signed for, talked to all of us for a bit, (both in Gollum voice and his own… ;-)) and also posed for photos. One of the guys in line before me had brought his little girl… who looked at Serkis smiling timidly, but in awe, and when he was done signing, he said “goodbye, preciousss”, in
Gollum voice, winking at her, to which she just melted… it was really cute.
When it was my turn, (after just about 10 minutes in line, at the most!) I took the opportunity to thank him for his fantastic performance in LOTR. Naturally, I also mentioned how much I’d loved the MTV award spot. 😉
He kindly posed for a picture afterwards…And at the back of the cover of my book, he wrote “A preciousss book indeed! Lots of love Andy Serkis Gollum.”
Andy Serkis at Propworld
As we arrived at the movie theater that evening, we were again surprised to see that even the theater was only about half filled. When Serkis arrived, they had to lead him through the crowd waiting outside, and spontaneously everyone started cheering.
Most of the questions and issues that came up were such that we more “hardcore” Ringers probably have heard him talking about before… but there was of course some bits of new information (to me at least). They asked him about how many rings that were used during filming and such, and he mentioned that the ring they mostly used in TTT had been given to him (Wood got the one from FOTR, I think) on his birthday, “interestingly enough.” Naturally, the next question was “Is that the ring you’re wearing right now?” but the only ring he was wearing all the time was his wedding ring.
He also talked about the MTV movie awards–that the MTV people were so eager to give him some kind of award that they had found a way around it, creating a new award for best virtual performance. And they had told the LOTR staff about it in advance, so they could prepare an acceptance speech. PJ had seen it as a great opportunity to train the new animators who had just arrived to help finishing the FX for ROTK shortly before this was announced, so “this became their boot camp.”
One of my friends then asked him whether he’d consider to take up Gollum’s role if he was asked to, if they’re ever going to film “The Hobbit”, and he said he definitely would. He was also talking about a few really hilarious moments from the shooting… one of his favourites was when he was trying to stop Frodo and Sam from going down to the Black Gate, and accidentally pulled off Sean Astin’s wig “and threw it all the way to the Shire.”
Then I and another friend of mine asked him about something we have always been curious about–the little funny moment when Gollum’s sitting on that rock, and Sam passes by, and he says “Nice hobbit”. Was it really in the script from the beginning, or a spontaneous addition as they went along? Yes–it WAS indeed a spontaneous addition, and according to Serkis, there were several of those along the way–another reason why he was so happy to have been “physically” acting against Astin and Wood, and not been replaced by a tennis ball on the set, shooting all his stuff later.
TTT was just as good as always, and we were fortunate to get pretty good seats.
To summarise it all, we had a GREAT evening. Serkis is a *really* nice guy, and I loved the way he treated his fans. I’m really glad to have met him in person, and SO happy to be a part of this wonderful fandom.
And I’d also like to thank Jesper Isberg, the guy in charge of the convention, for a job REALLY well done!