Andy Serkis: From Gollum to Screwtape

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Andy Serkis, the actor whose voice and mannerisms brought to life the character of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of Lord of the Rings, has now taken on another unsavory character sprung from the well of imagination that was the Inklings. This time, Serkis is trying his hand at Screwtape, the epistolary demon from C.S. Lewis’ classic, The Screwtape Letters (which book was dedicated to JRRT).

As reported on the Oxford Inklings blog, Serkis is part of the cast for an audio dramatization of Lewis’ short novel being produced by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre (Lewis’ step-son, Douglas Gresham, is also involved). Check out the behind-the-scenes clip and judge for yourself whether Serkis pulls off one of the most memorable fiends in all of literature.

From what I can discern regarding Serkis’ rendition of Screwtape, he’s done a fine job, quite possibly surpassing the previous performances of Max McLean, John Cleese and Joss Ackland. To be honest, while I thought that Serkis did an excellent job portraying Gollum (or, at least, the Gollum he was given), I’ve always preferred Brother Theodore’s performance in the Rankin/Bass production of The Hobbit. In the case of Screwtape, I think Serkis’ rendition may end up being the definitive take.

I just can’t get Serkis’ “WOORRMWOOOOD!” outta my head.