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Gollum was a turning point in Andy Serkis's life

ANDY Serkis thinks playing Gollum in 'The Lord of the Rings' franchise marked a turning point in his life.

The 51-year-old actor played the iconic literary figure in the money-spinning franchise and has admitted he didn't grasp the significance of the role until later in his career.

He shared: "I thought 'Lord of the Rings' was the end of the line.

"But then [director Peter Jackson] asked if I wanted to play King Kong. It was only at that moment that I went: 'Wow! This new technology enables you to go from playing an ex-hobbit to a 25ft gorilla.'

"That was the turning point. Up until then Gollum was just the next stage from John Hurt in a prosthetic costume as the Elephant Man."

Andy is a huge fan of the special effects that helped turn him into Gollum and contrary to popular perception, he claims it "liberates" actors.

He told the Observer newspaper: "[For the actors] it's like being on stage. Or like being in rehearsal. They say the same thing: that there's no limit.

"Once they've got used to the technology, they feel they can do anything. The key to the new technology is its fidelity to the actor's performance, to the character.

"It's not a question of the actor being smothered by special effects. The exciting thing is that it liberates them, creatively."