A "War for the Planet of the Apes" Panel Discusses the Film

The cast from the latest installment in the thrilling new "Planet of the Apes" series, "War for the Planet of the Apes" stopped by Build Series NYC on Tuesday to discuss their new film. The panel consisted of cast members Andy Serkis, Steve Zahn, and Amiah Miller, as well as the writer and director of the film, Matt Reeves.

Matt Reeves opened the conversation by explaining how all three of the "Planet of the Apes" films are very different, but the common thread is that they follow Caesar, the ape protagonist of the series. He explained that creating this chapter of the series, which is completely empathetic towards Caesar, was almost like creating a biblical epic. One major point that he wanted to get across is that this film is not simply about stunning visuals, but emotion as well.

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: (L - R) Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Andy Serkis, and Matt Reeves attend Build to discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: (L - R) Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Andy Serkis, and Matt Reeves attend Build to discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Actress Amiah Miller attends Build to discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Director Matt Reeves attends Build to discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Actor Andy Serkis attends Build to discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Actress Amiah Miller attends Build to discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Actor Andy Serkis attends Build to discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: (L-R) Actors Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller and Andy Serkis, and director Matt Reeves discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: (L-R) Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Andy Serkis and Matt Reeves attend Build series to discuss 'War For The Planet Of The Apes' at Build Studio on July 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Chance Yeh/FilmMagic)
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He describes, "It's about intimacy. The spectacle doesn't matter if you're not emotionally engaged. You are going to identify emotionally with apes...So, by watching this movie for two hours, you become these characters. And I think that's an uncanny experience."

Andy Serkis, who plays Caesar in the film, describes his unique experience with the cutting-edge motion capture technology used in the film.

He explains, "Performance capture is basically acting. It's not a type of acting or a genre of acting, you don't become a motion capture actor. We are all actors playing roles. Some with costumes and make up, and some with suits with head-mounted cameras and markers on our faces. It's all about building a character!" He later continues to explain how lucky he feels to play the character of Caesar from infancy to adulthood, and what it was like to be a part of that journey.

Steve Zahn and Amiah Miller also go into the particulars of their performances and their characters. Zahn explained how he felt emotionally attached to his character, and Miller described that she was a "nervous wreck" during much of the filming, but through practice and the support of her cast members she was able to deliver.

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third installment in this current series, but according to Reeves, it may not necessarily be the last. It is currently playing in theaters nationwide.

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