Andy Serkis and Keri Russell at Dawn of the Planet of the Apes NYC Premiere

The stars give the scoop on prepping for their roles and going "wild" on set

From the LifeMinute team

July 9th, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stars Andy Serkis and Keri Russell walked the red carpet at Williamsburg Cinemas in Brooklyn for the premiere of the eighth film in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise. It's been three years since the ape epic has taken over the big screen.

The movie picks up ten years after 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. "There is an existing group of humans left and an existing group of an ape family left, and it's really about these two groups meeting, and can they coexist?" says Keri Russell, who plays Ellie.

Andy Serkis reprises his role of Caesar, the aptly-named leader of the ape community. "I tried to create this utopian society," Serkis says of his primate character, "It's really a story of survival of two species."

The peace between the two groups breaks down as both sides are brought to the brink of war. Creating the film also proved to be a battle.

"Preparing... it's just something you experience, and you either roll with it or you don't, and luckily I had Andy Serkis who's kind of magnificent," says Russell, who turned to her veteran costar for his expertise on dealing with a set of real and fake apes alike.

So how did Serkis get so good at channeling his inner ape? "Originally, in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I based Caesar on a real chimpanzee called Oliver who was known as the 'humanzee,'" says Serkis, whose role called for the evolution of Caesar from infant to adult.

The saga's special effects have also undergone a transformation since the first film debuted in 1968. Russell confesses working on a CGI-heavy flick was a new experience. "The first day on set, when you are looking at this group of men in grey unitards [making] full ape noises...the whole thing in this forest was wild," she says.

See who emerges as Earth's dominant species when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters on July 11th.


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