Planet of the Apes

Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.
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About This Episode

We’re going ape this week when host Neil deGrasse Tyson talks to Andy Serkis from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But it’s not just about the movie – Neil and co-host Eugene Mirman are joined in studio by paleoanthropologist and primate expert Dr. Ian Tattersall, Curator Emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History. Join us as we explore some of the similarities we have with our primate relatives gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, including their senses of fairness and attachment, and the way they can organize to capture territory, mug and murder each other. Andy describes his different approaches to playing apes, from portraying King Kong as a silverback gorilla to the challenge of depicting Caesar as an evolving chimp who grows more human with time. He also talks about the freedom that performance capture technology gives actors to express themselves in any character – including his groundbreaking performance as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie franchises.

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