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How do you feel about your performance, even though you're principally a CGI character?
Having seen the results, I'm clear that I played Gollum. We spent a lot of time honing Gollum down and making him do less. We wanted to make him as natural as possible. And it works. You forget that you're watching a CGI figure.

What do you think about actors combining with CGI in the future?
I see it opening lots of doors for actors. If anything, CGI extends the actor's craft. This character may be CGI, but he's still driven by a human emotion and movement, and you'll never replace human emotions. People will genuinely respond to Gollum's emotions--they will feel sorry for him at times, and think he's violent and malicious at other times.

Do you feel like a pioneer?
No other actor has been through the multiple processes I have, with live action filming and motion capture and the rest. It feels very cutting edge.

What was it like working with Peter and his team?
It's been one of my most enjoyable working experiences ever. Peter and Fran were very clear about what they want, but very respectful of the craft of acting. They've been trusting enough to let me to run the gamut with this character. I really feel like I've been on a huge journey with this role.

Now for the moment of truth: any embarrassing moments during the project?
Since I was in a lycra suit for most of filming, I got teased a lot by the rest of the cast. The first time I came out to New Zealand, I was put into an early version of the suit, but there were no holes for the eyes. It was like pulling a condom over your head. Then someone introduced me to [executive producer] Barrie Osborne, but I couldn't see him. It was weird. I looked like a cross between a figure-skater and the gimp from Pulp Fiction.