Interview with ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Michael Adamthwaite

Luca and Caesar in
Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) and Caesar (Andy Serkis) in ‘War for the Planet of the Apes, Used with permission of HollyWords Publicity Group

Michael Adamthwaite has everything going his way. Fresh off his role as Luca, Caesar’s loyal guerilla lieutenant in “War for the Planet of the Apes,” the Ontario, Canada born actor will be seen in the new Liam Neeson movie “Hard Powder,” “Tributum,” “Midway,” and the highly anticipated Netflix series “Altered Carbon.” “Supernatural” fans take note: Michael chats about his fun role opposite Felicia Day as Bill the security guard in ‘The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo.’ Under sunny Vancouver skies, Michael shared his experience filming this summer’s big hit.

Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) and Nova (Amiah Miller)
Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) and Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) and Nova (Amiah Miller) in ‘War for the Planet of the Apes,” Used with permission of HollyWords Publicity Group

Colleen Bement: “War for the Planet of the Apes” is exceeding everyone’s expectations in the theater the past two weeks. Let’s chat about your experience filming this amazing movie.

Michael Adamthwaite: For me, it has been such a huge whirlwind working on this movie. From the very start meeting Andy on the first day, and my audition process was really odd. Step by step it was becoming more of this iconic journey for me as an actor. It was so mind-blowing. When you’re in silence for two hours and moving around as a troop of 30 plus performers through the woods, through the building, through the studio, and chasing cars, you don’t think about this as work. This is not work: This is the highest privilege an actor can ask for, and of course, that translated beautifully to the film.

CB: What was it like to do motion capture?

MA: Thankfully for me, I had a crash course in motion capture these last several years. I was in “Warcraft: The Beginning”; I played King Magni. That was a role that required a lot of voice work and a lot of movement. I met Terry Notary for the first time I worked with Terry again in “The BFG” directed by Steven Spielberg; which was amazing. “BFG” was a lot of work, and Terry was there again to help me create the character of Butcher Boy that was this 54-foot toddler. It was amazing, and of course to have him here to coach and guide me–I mean, I’m the new guy. I’m joining this family of established performers. I really got to say this is largely due to Terry’s belief in me and in my ability to make this happen. I will always owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

CB: What was it like working with Andy Serkis?

MA: Andy is just the highest caliber performer you could ever hope to work with. He definitely has a lot of the qualities that Caesar has. He leads by example, and he’s very capable physically and emotionally. He has such a huge range as a human being, and he really brings all of that into the character that we know and love as Caesar. It really stands out to me that moment he took time out to connect with everybody after two hours of running around, panting and sweating, that we’re only really starting to get used to. Our muscles were sore and were screaming, and he just turns around and all he says was “cool.” The most stunning moment. There have been so many that I have truly treasured this work experience. Andy is at the top of the game, period.

CB: Tell your fans about your upcoming projects like “Tributum” and “Midway.”

MA: I very excited about “Tributum” and “Midway,” those are near and dear projects to my heart. I have some very exciting stuff coming out. “Hard Powder” starring Liam Neeson will be coming out this year. I have a juicy role in that. (laughs) Definitely going to be interesting to watch. I’m also going to be featured this upcoming season of “Van Helsing,” as well as the upcoming “Altered Carbon” which is highly anticipated, and I’ve got a lot of voice work thankfully. Lots of stuff to look forward to.

CB: I’ve heard so many good things about “Altered Carbon.”

MA: It’s the best and It’s so badass! It’s going to be the most expensive show in the history of television, so I guarantee it’s going to be a sight to behold for sure. Also, I am in talks to potentially be signing with a booking agent to perhaps get me to conventions in North America and Europe, so that’s pretty exciting. More on that later.

“Supernatural” episode ‘The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo’: Photo credit to YouTube

CB: Your scene with Felicia Day in the “Supernatural” episode ‘The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo’ as Security Guard Bill was so cute. What was it like on the set of “Supernatural?”

MA: Oh my gosh, she (Felicia Day) is so sweet and wonderful. She is just a peach to hang out with. She was sort of comically aggravated that her Mass Effect wasn’t loading; there was really bad service, and we had a good laugh. Working with her was tremendous and very, very fun. It was nice to see it edited in the final episode because of course, on the day Jensen wasn’t there. It was just Felicia and I and someone we had to read opposite of. It was nice to see it all come together. It’s like the three of us were flirting; it was really cool. And to see it become a meme: I’m like wow! Talk about tiny role; not so tiny. That was really fun.

CB: Your filmography is long and impressive. How did you originally catch the acting bug?

MA: I had the privilege of growing up in a half military, half creative family, so it was interesting. My dad was a battleship commander, and my mom was a retired nurse. We got involved in a program for active for creating enrichment. We were involved from the get-go with music and theater, and dance and slapstick, jokes, comedy; everything. We were very busy as children working toward that goal of just having fun and being creative. It also, I’m sure, kept us out of a lot of trouble. I had a long standing cadet career, but other than that, my use was pretty much dedicated to acting. I was in “Little Lord Fauntleroy?” when I was 12. That was my first gig. I was living in England where my dad was posted on a military contract, so very interesting beginning.

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