Andy Serkis, Director

I had the heads up. The man in security reception at Leavesden Studios (where you have to present your passport, birth certificate and answer some tricky questions about the air speed velocity of Amazon swallows) is a big fan of Andy Serkis (Gollum, Caesar, Planet of The Apes, Star Wars sequels etc) . “One of the nicest people you are likely to meet. A true gent.”
That is all very well, but I’ve been to Leavesden studios before (it’s where Harry Potter was filmed by the way) and it is a capital offence to photograph stuff unless you are part of a film crew. Speilberg could easily be lurking behind the next diffuser. I doubted my chances of a portrait outside the production office. As it happens, Andy was that gent so described. He was still gearing up to direct Venom 2 so had time for our portrait session. In preparation I was able to scout a spot in-between another film shoot in the massive former aircraft hanger. No-one seemed to notice me and my cameras amidst the strange characters in period 1940s dress. I wasn’t arrested nor deported to Azkaban. Anyway, I had my “I’m with Andy Serkis” get out of jail card.

© Peter Searle
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