Motion-capture extraordinaire Andy Serkis, whose notable roles include the creature Gollum, from Lord of the Rings and the titular ape in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong, recently spoke with NPR's Dave Davies on Fresh Air about the process and challenges of playing digital characters.
To prepare for his most recent role as Caesar, the simian revolutionary in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Serkis studied Oliver, the famous "Human-zee."
Oliver was extraordinary in the sense that he walked bi-pedally. He was brought up by human beings, he was treated very much like a member of the household and looked and behaved and had facial expressions that really, one could imagine, was close to human behavior. He was a touchstone character.
Oliver was the subject of an October 2003 feature in The Atlantic, which you can read here.