'Breathe' director Andy Serkis & producer Jonathan Cavendish
Actor Andy Serkis is best known for his pioneering motion capture work. Now Serkis has stepped behind the camera to direct the new movie Breathe. The film is a very personal one for producer Jonathan Cavendish; it tells the true story of his remarkable parents. Serkis and Cavendish tell us why they wanted to make an old-fashioned love story like Breathe, give a Jungle Book update and talk about some of the new projects in the works at their performance capture studio Imaginarium.
First on the news banter, Hollywood is still obsessed with the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and Amazon Studios chief Roy Price. We talk about the continued fallout. Then, actor Andy Serkis was a pioneer of performance capture with roles including Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films and the title character in King Kong. Now Serkis has gone behind the camera, directing the new film Breathe -- an old-fashioned love story about triumph over adversity. Breathe is based on the life of Robin Cavendish, who was stricken with polio in 1958 and paralyzed from the neck down. He became a powerful advocate for the rights of the severely disabled. Serkis came to the project through his business partner, Jonathan Cavendish. And this wasn't just another script: Breathe tells the inspiring story of Jonathan Cavendishs remarkable parents.
Photo: Producer Jonathan Cavendish, actors Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy and director Andy Serkis on the set of Breathe. (Laurie Sparham/Bleecker Street | Participant Media)
Matt Belloni, editorial director of the Hollywood Reporter, joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.
Now that Roy Price is officially out at Amazon, what’s next for the studio? Some of the problems seemed based in the company's culture, where work and social events often blended together, and male showrunners were given better deals than women producers -- who continually had to go through the pilot process. Will that change?
Actor Andy Serkis has played many roles in his 20-year-plus career where he looks like himself. But he's best known for his pioneering roles in performance capture, in which computer technology transforms him into characters like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, the towering King Kong, and the highly evolved Caesar in the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.
In 2011, Serkis and producer Jonathan Cavendish created Imaginarium, a performance capture studio in the UK. They've also made the new film Breathe, with Serkis stepping behind the camera to direct. It's not the kind of movie you'd expect from people focused on new technology -- it's an old-fashioned love story starring real humans.
For Cavendish, Breathe is a very personal project -- the story of his extraordinary parents. Cavendish's father Robin was stricken with polio in 1958 and became paralyzed from the neck down, unable to breathe without a ventilator.
At the time, few people in that condition lived long and all were confined to hospital beds. Breathe depicts Robin Cavendish's battle to change that. In the film, Andrew Garfield plays Robin, while Claire Foy plays his wife Diana, who is determined to help him escape from the hospital. Robin Cavendish went on to become a pioneer in the fight for rights for the severely disabled.
Breathe is the first film Serkis has directed to hit theaters, though it's not technically his directorial debut. He has been at work on a long-gestating performance-capture version of the Jungle Book -- not from Disney but from Warner Brothers. That film is still in post production.
Serkis and Cavendish tell us about some of the projects in the works at Imaginarium, and share why they wanted to make a rather old-fashioned film like Breathe, a hopeful movie that demonstrates triumph in the face of adversity. They also talk about Andrew Garfield's commitment to the role (including wearing a mold of Jonathan Cavendish's teeth!), and another of Serkis' contributions to the film: you can hear him play saxophone on the soundtrack.