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Judy Greer Talks About Her Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Character

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judy-greerDawn of the Planet of the Apes will introduce new characters on the human and ape side, respectively. It seems that every new movie in the series will include more ape characters than humans, considering that the apes will sooner or later inherit the world. In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the apes were just learning how to be fully thinking individuals, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will feature the ape nation coming into their own as a species. Actress Judy Greer was cast to play Cornelia, the matriarch in Caesar’s growing family, and she recently revealed more about her role.

In an interview with Empire Magazine, Judy Greer talks about the challenges of playing a motion-captured character in the latest Apes movie. It wasn’t just difficult to figure out how to act like an ape, she also had to find Cornelia’s feminine side and her true beauty. Greer explains:

I saw her! Dan Lemmon, who is one of the guys working on the look of the apes, and is the boss of me, he showed me a picture of her. And it was on my first day of actually shooting. I couldn’t believe it. It took my breath away seeing her. She’s so beautiful and regal and very feminine. I really felt like I was looking at a lady… Andy Serkis is the master [of motion capture], but Terry Notary is the godfather, so he taught me everything I know. I got there late in the process, so I learned a lot on set from my amazing fellow apes. They were helping me out — when we were waiting around for setups, I’d be, ‘Can we practice quad walking? Can I get my half-crutches? Is this good?’ ‘No, keep your butt down!’

While it’s unclear if any of the apes in the sequel film will talk, it’s surprising that the actors managed to convey so much emotion as non-talking apes in the first reboot film. Since Judy Greer wasn’t in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it’s really good to see her finding her role in its sequel. Greer is a good actor, so it will be interesting to see if she can also convey a sense of character without talking.

Director Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) says he wants to connect the audience to the characters in the sequel on an emotional level. He hopes that the movie is “emotional and thrilling as you watch the apes come into being.” Centering the film in this way was one of the reasons why Rise of the Planet of the Apes succeeded, so hopefully this approach will work just as well with the new sequel.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will feature Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises, RoboCop) as Dreyfus, while a family played by Jason Clarke (The Great Gatsby, Lawless), Keri Russell (FX’s The Americans), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) will make up the human side of the film. As for the apes, Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) will reprise his role as Caesar, while Nick Thurston will play his son. British actor Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans) will play one of the key ape roles as Koba, while Karin Konoval (The X-Files) reprises her role as the orangutan Maurice and Terry Notary (Avatar) plays Rocket.

Matt Reeves and screenwriter Mark Bomback (The Wolverine) rewrote Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes original screenplay. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will hit theaters everywhere on July 18, 2014, in 3D.


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