Andy Serkis is packing his bags for Middle-earth.
"It's going to happen," said Serkis of the highly anticipated two-part prequel in which he'll costar as the subterranean slimeball. "I think it's due to start shooting in May. It's going be exciting, especially working with [new director] Guillermo Del Toro, who's fantastic."
Serkis was on hand at the Tribeca Film Festival for the North American premiere of Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in which he stars as '70s English punk icon Ian Dury, whose hit song provides the film's title.
"It's nice to wear pants again," the 46-year-old actor joked when asked how he feels to be appearing in the flesh this time. "But the thing is I never draw distinctions between acting in a live-action situation to live in a performance capture situation...I'll invest equally as much in a character where I'm completely hidden as I would with someone like Ian."
And to say Serkis really embraced the Method to play Dury would be an understatement.
"He was entirely hairless so I had to have my entire body waxed, which is the most painful thing I've ever done in my life," the actor admits. "It was verging on torture…welts were appearing and I was screaming."
Let's just hope they didn't hurt his precious.
The Big Apple's the place to be for movies this week. See for yourself in our Tribeca Film Festival gallery.