Rhode Island Comic Con: Where fans and celebrities can all be characters
PROVIDENCE — Fans of acclaimed British actor Andy Serkis waited patiently in line on Friday night for their own version of “the precious.”
No, it wasn’t one ring to rule them all that these fans were pursuing, but rather it was an autograph, photo, handshake, and conversation with the actor during his session at Rhode Island Comic Con on the arena floor of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Serkis is perhaps best known for his work as a “performance-capture” actor – meaning that when Serkis is on screen, it’s very rarely his face that the audience sees, but rather a combination of motion capture acting, computer-generated images, and voice work. Arguably his most popular performance was as Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy. But he’s also used his
Continued from page A1 performance-capture method for roles in the “Planet of the Apes” series and the most recent “Star Wars” trilogy.
However, Serkis will occasionally be seen in a more traditional acting role, most notably as the villainous Ulysses Klaue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Avengers” film series.
Brothers Michael and Kevin Gates traveled more than 300 miles from their hometown of Marcellus, N.Y. – a small town just outside of Syracuse – to meet Serkis.
“We’re from a rural area,” Kevin Gates joked. “We don’t see too much like this.”
Michael Gates said he was most fond of Serkis’ work in the “Star Wars” and Marvel franchises, noting his excitement to see the actor’s upcoming performances in “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” and “Black Panther.”
“He becomes his characters, he’s just incredible,” Michael Gates said. “Whether it’s physically – like in ‘Black Panther’ – or a rendering of himself.”
Garrison Wright of Bloomington, Ill. made the 16-hour journey from his home in the heart of Illinois to the Ocean State to meet the actor who’d meant so much to the film adaptations of the novels he grew up with.
A dedicated fan of the works of author J.R.R. Tolkien, who penned the fantasy classics “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” Wright said he’d been reading those books since he was a teenager.
“When he was in ‘Lord of the Rings,’ that sealed it,” Wright said of Serkis. “He was the deal sealer as far as showing up (to the convention).”
When asked what he’d talk to Serkis about, Wright pondered, then said, “From ‘Lord of the Rings’ to the Marvel world, there’s a lot I would talk to him about.”
Greg Silvia of Lakeville, Mass. meanwhile said that he saw Serkis as a transcendent figure in the history of cinema, attributing the actor with not only starting the performance capture concept but defining it for generations to come.
“I loved him in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and as Caesar in ‘Planet of the Apes,’” Silvia said. “To get his signature and meet him, it’ll be a really cool, surreal experience.”
The Rhode Island Convention Center was the place to be this weekend as Rhode Island Comic Con drew thousands for the three-day event, including some colorful characters.
Comic book fans look over some of their favorites inside the Rhode Island Convention Center Saturday at this weekend’s Rhode Island Comic Con.
Above, Kenway-Nathan Petrocelli, of Warwick, is dressed up as Edward Kenway from ‘Assassin's Creed’ at Rhode Island Comic Con in Providence Saturday. Thousands of comic book and movie fans flocked to the Dunkin' Donuts Center and adjacent Rhode Island Convention Center, many dressed in costume, for the threeday event which concluded Sunday with a concert by the Gene Simmons Band at the nearby Vets Auditorium. Simmons, below, waits to greet fans Saturday.