Andy Serkis found worldwide fame when he voiced and did motion capture for the character of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s iconic, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. With the iconic portrayal, Serkis found a breakthrough in Hollywood as the actor became the go-to person for CGI voice and characters.
In an interview at Awesome Con, the actor revealed that his friend had once advised him not to take on the role of Gollum by saying “I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole, mate,” but Serkis took the role anyway. The Black Panther actor revealed that he met the friend years later and they had a hilarious interaction as it was the worst piece of advice that his friend had ever given.
“I met him years later and he said, ‘That was the worst piece of advice I’ve ever given to anyone'”
Well, if Andy Serkis had listened to his friend’s worst advice, he wouldn’t have been sitting there. Instead, here are 6 other actors who could have portrayed and voiced the role of Gollum if Andy Serkis had rejected the role.
1) Willem Dafoe
Known for his iconic voice as the Green Goblin in Spider-Man, Willem Dafoe solidified himself as a villain back in the early 2000s. Portraying a similar character to Gollum in 2002’s Spider-Man (with how Norman Osborn heard voices), Dafoe would have been a perfect fit for the role.
His role as Heimir the Fool in the 2022 film, The Northman further proved just how crazy of an actor he can be if he wishes to and Gollum needed crazy to be portrayed beautifully.
2) Johnny Depp
The infamous and notorious pirate, Johnny Depp has sung sea shanties, rock songs, and much more with his iconic voice throughout his Hollywood career. From portraying Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to playing rock music in concerts, there’s no doubt in Johnny Depp’s capabilities.
With how crazy (and drunk) his character was in the Pirates franchise, Johnny Depp could have very well voiced the character of Gollum. If the role had gone to Depp, Gollum would have leaned towards the smeagol and comedic side more instead of the serious psychopath Gollum,
3) Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch has already associated himself with Peter Jackson by voicing Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit trilogy. Voicing the dragon and giving his motion capture, Cumberbatch slithered on the ground to give Smaug the effect of a reptile.
Having such dedication to the art, Benedict Cumberbatch would have made a great Gollum and would have leaned more on the motion capture side of things.
4) Jared Leto
The list seems to be going crazier. Jared Leto already portrayed a character very similar to Gollum in 2016 when he portrayed the role of The Joker in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Portraying the psychotic villain, Leto received mixed reviews from the world but it was clear that he did have talent.
Jared Leto could have easily portrayed and voiced the role of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s trilogy. What’s more, is that Leto could have beautifully shown the two minds of the character (i.e., Smeagol and Gollum) and the conflict that they were in.
5) Javier Bardem
Another actor to have worked in great films and alongside Johnny Depp in the Pirates franchise is Javier Bardem. Boasting a deep voice, Javier Bardem portrayed the role of Captain Salazar in Salazar’s Revenge and is also the recipient of 1 Oscar and 3 Oscar nominations.
Portraying a wide and frenzied role, Bardem could have given the voice of Gollum some gravitas so that people might have considered Gollum an actual threat instead of a companion.
6) David Tennant
David Tennant is one of the lesser-known actors in the list but his work is as equally good as the rest. Probably the actor with the most resemblance to Gollum, Tennant was seen in the iconic 2005 film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Barty Crouch Jr.
Portraying the role of a servant of the Dark Lord, the tongue-slithering and his chaotic persona would have been a key factor in his Gollum portrayal if he had been given the chance.
Although the choices are great, the world is happy that Andy Serkis did not listen to his friend’s advice and continued with his portrayal of Gollum for which he has been nominated countless times for the role.