Though you might not immediately recognize him, Andy Serkis’ gravely voice should already be familiar. His most mainstream role thus far has been playing the boney little spook, Gollum, in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. But Serkis’ latest release, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll,” shows him in the flesh playing English ’80s punk/funk star Ian Dury of Ian Dury and the Blockheads.
You’d think the man would relish being able to see his face on the screen again, but it’s all the same to Serkis, creepy creatures and live-action roles alike.
“It’s nice to wear pants again, but the thing is, to be honest, for me there’s no difference, never has been,” Serkis explained while promoting the film at the Tribeca Film Festival. “It’s all acting. I would invest equally as much in characters where I’m completely hidden as I would with someone like Ian.”
The subject of “Sex & Drugs,” Ian Dury, isn’t too familiar to most Americans, considering his biggest hit in the U.K., “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick,” never seemed to catch on here, but Dury’s roll in shaping punk music was iconic to many Brits, including Serkis.
“I first heard Ian when I was about 14. I remember quite vividly being on a [bus] going on a camping trip with school and everyone sort of crowding around the transistor radio to listen to ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick,’” says Serkis. “I just remember hearing this extraordinary growling, rasping, ranting force on the radio. I was completely mesmerized by him.”