APE ABOUT DAWN
Former South Australian actor Kodi SmitMcPhee will be first in line to see himself in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
SUCCESS IN Hollywood has a habit of making young actors grow up before their time, but not rising Australian star Kodi Smit-McPhee. The South Australian still has a strong sense of teenage enjoyment and is as eager to see his latest film Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes as any adolescent sci-fi fan.
Smit-McPhee, who is in Melbourne for the filming of the Nine Network miniseries Gallipoli, plays one of the central characters in the second installment of the Planet of the Apes reboot.
He stars as Alexander, the son of virus survivor Malcolm (played by Aussie actor Jason Clarke) who forms a close bond with the ape leader Caesar.
It’s one of several movies that SmitMcPhee has made in the past couple of years, including a remake of Romeo and Juliet and sci-fi film Young Ones, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes picks up a decade after the end of the initial reboot film Rise of The Planet of The Apes and could be considered Smit-McPhee’s break-out role.
He’s intrigued to see the final edit after working throughout the movie with actors wearing skin-tight motion capture suits, instead of ape costumes.
“I love seeing all of the work everyone did behind, and in front, of the camera and watching it come together at the end is a really cool feeling,” Smit-McPhee told AAP.
“The actors were in motion-capture suits, but they fully embodied the ape characters on set.
“So on set, you don’t see ape suits but these amazing actors playing apes. “They all deserve awards.” And much like the growing intelligence of the apes in the movie franchise, the technology used to bring them to life on screen has evolved.
Back when Andy Serkis first played simian ruler Caesar in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, it was the first time performance capture had been taken out of the studio and on to the streets.
But for the Apes sequel, using performance capture filming on location became the norm.
“Everything has taken a big leap forward and it’s mind-blowing,” SmitMcPhee said.
“It doesn’t look like people in costumes, it looks real.”
When Smit-McPhee files into the cinema to watch his latest flick in early July, he’ll look at it from a unique perspective.
Unlike some actors who prefer not to watch their own movies, Smit-McPhee says he delights in seeing it through the eyes of his own character.
“I watch it (the movie) as that character and not as me on the screen,” he said.
“Then I can enjoy it from the point of view of how everyone worked on it and not just from experience of being in it.” Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is in cinemas now.