Tuesday 16 January 2018

Hobbit of a lifetime: Serkis act returns

Aisling Loftus, Andy Serkis and Ian Fitzgibbon on the 'Superhero' set in Dun Laoghaire yesterday
Aisling Loftus, Andy Serkis and Ian Fitzgibbon on the 'Superhero' set in Dun Laoghaire yesterday
Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

GOLLUM found himself setting sail off the west pier in Dun Laoghaire yesterday.

But actor Andy Serkis, who made his name playing the hobbit, wasn't sailing off into the latest instalment of 'The Lord Of The Rings' but a new Irish film.

Serkis is a no stranger to Ireland, having shot TV movie 'Bobbie's Girl' and upcoming film 'The Last Furlong' here.

In 'Superhero' the 46-year-old London-born actor plays Dr Death to co-star Thomas Sangster's terminally ill teenager Donald Clarke, who craves sex and adventure but only has months to live.

As a form of escape, the teen retreats from the harsh reality of life into comic book adventures.

However, his parents set up appointments with various psychologists, including Dr Adrian King, aka Dr Death, who enters Clarke's life at the same time as a new girl at his school, played by Aisling Loftus.

Serkis says it's a theatrical tour he remembers most from his previous trips to Ireland.

"I did a stage production of 'Bouncers' back in 1987. In Limerick someone came on stage and head butted me at the start of one of the shows. And yet I've come back, which just shows how much I like this place," he told the IFTN website.

Based on the novel 'Death of a Superhero' by Anthony McCarten, who also wrote the screenplay, his new Irish film is a collaboration between local production company Grand Pictures and Germany's Bavaria Pictures and is being co-funded by the Irish Film Board and a number of German donors.

The movie also sees three key players from RTE's hit comedy 'Paths To Freedom' break into the big time, with the cast including Michael McElhatton, who plays Donald's father in the film, reunited with director Ian Fitzgibbon and producer Michael Garland. "We've been waiting to work together for so long," said McElhatton.

Shooting has been going on in Dublin for the past few weeks, with hospital scenes filmed in St James's Hospital. Next month, the production moves to Munich.

Irish Independent

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