Andy Serkis is famed for his motion-capture performances, as Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes series and even King Kong. However, his most iconic role is that of Gollum, the ring-obsessed creature lurking in the pages of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Now, the actor and voice artist will take his performance of this role to new heights in aid of charity.
Serkis will undertake a live, continuous reading of the entire The Hobbit novel, which is expected to take around 10 to 12 hours.
He will begin reading on VE Day, Friday, May 8 to raise money for NHS Charities Together and Best Beginnings.
The live stream will start at 10am BST (5am EST, 2am PST) on May 8, and continue through from start to finish with no breaks.
Speaking of the performance, Serkis said: “So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown.
“While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12 hour armchair marathon across Middle Earth whilst raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need.”
How to watch Andy Serkis’ 12-hour reading challenge
The marathon read-along will be live-streamed for free online from 10am BST.
The link to the read-along will be made available on Friday morning on Serkis’ GoFundMe page, where fans can donate.
He brought these effects to prominence as Gollum, the creature whose “precious” ring is stolen from him in The Hobbit by Bilbo Baggins, only for it to be given over to Bilbo’s nephew Frodo to destroy in The Lord of the Rings.
Gollum begins to follow Frodo and is driven most strongly and passionately by his obsession and love of the ring, which has turned him into a shadow of his former self.
Other than this role, Serkis has also taken on the role of Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes trilogy, Kong in the remake of King Kong, as well as playing a human, Ulysses Klause, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
He is taking on the role of Alfred Pennyworth in the upcoming DC film The Batman, opposite Robert Pattinson, and is also a director, making movies of his own like Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Venom: Let There Be Carnage.