4 Motion Capture Characters and the Actors Who Played Them

Monday, November 21 by Winston Carter

Motion capture technology has allowed for completely computer generated characters to take on the lifelike qualities of the stars playing them. Turning what was once a lifeless hollow form into a conscience life-filled character. Some of these classic film roles have been played by actors who never physically appear on the screen.


Truly taking form in “The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers”, Gollum captured audiences as the most life like computer animated character to ever be captured on film. Played masterfully by Andy Serkis, Gollum set a new standard for how people could relate to a CG character and paved the way for subsequent CG characters in film.


From the epic “Avatar” Neytiri proved that even an 8-foot-tall cat-person could still be sort of attractive. This is due in no small part to the acting talents of Zoe Saldana. In perfectly capturing her character Saldana molded a major performance in the highest grossing film of all time.

The Conductor

Tom Hanks used motion capture technology to play what seems like every character in “The Polar Express.”  Most notably of course is that the character bears a striking resemblance to Hanks. This performance showed the ability to have on actor create many roles and truly stretch out as an artist using motion capture technology.


Once again the master of motion capture hits a home run as Andy Serkis crafts an incredible performance as a 40-foot-tall ape in “King Kong”.  Bringing realistic movement to Kong pushed the limits of CG characters and acting prowess. While many actors may attempt to use this technology, with this performance Serkis secured his spot as king of the motion capture actors.

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