Andy Serkis On The Difference Between Playing Snoke In Star Wars And Kino Loy In Andor [Exclusive]

One could feel a great disturbance in the Force when Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) showed up in "Andor" season 1, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror at the thought of what the Supreme Leader Snoke truthers were about to do with this casting reveal.

Serkis, of course, famously earned his motion-capture bonafides playing Gollum in director Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy in the early 2000s. He would only continue to pioneer the newfangled art of mo-cap acting over the next two decades, taking on parts as legendary as King Kong, as emotional as Caesar from the "Planet of the Apes" movies, and as dastardly as the First Order's head honcho Snoke in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy. Now, thanks to his turn in "Andor," Serkis has joined the proud tradition of actors tackling multiple roles in a galaxy far, far away.

Yes, all galaxy-brain conjecturing to the contrary, Serkis has assured /Film's Ryan Scott that Kino is exactly what he seems — the no-nonsense floor manager at one of the Imperial prisons on Narkina 5 — and not Palpatine's gold cloak-adorned "puppet" Snoke in the making. "Well, you can't really compare them in a way, they're so entirely different," the actor noted. Calling Snoke "a great character to play," Serkis admitted he was hesitant to sign on for "Andor," not wanting to encourage the Snoke conspiracy theorists of the world any more than he already has:

"But when ['Andor' showrunner] Tony Gilroy approached me and said, 'Look, will you come and play Kino Loy?' I was like, 'Is this going to be confusing to everybody? There are so many Snoke theories flying about, is this really just going to throw fuel on the fire?' I really didn't want to go down that road."

A being who actually cares about the greater good

It's only to be expected that Andy Serkis' mo-cap work should garner more attention than his live-action acting. In the past, he's delivered fine performances devoid of any CGI in films like "The Prestige," "Black Panther," and "The Batman." Most importantly of all, he showed off his sick moonwalking talents in "13 Going on 30." Even so, "Andor" marks one of the rare occasions where Serkis has gotten to play a human as complicated as his best-known mo-cap characters.

In his interview with Ryan, Serkis cited his love of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" (a film that Tony Gilroy was heavily involved with creatively) as part of what convinced him to board "Andor" in spite of his reservations. "But Tony, I really was such a big fan of 'Rogue One,'" Serkis admitted, explaining:

"Tony's description of the character of Kino Loy, it was so endearing in a way because he was this man who actually really cares about the greater good. Who is now incarcerated and loses touch with himself and becomes very cold-hearted, and just wants to survive and just look after number one."

Where Snoke is firmly a being of darkness, "Andor" shows Kino undergoing what Serkis dubbed a "reverse journey when he comes into touch with Cassian Andor and finds his common humanity again." His arc is also a reflection of "Andor" and the show's greater efforts to make a galaxy far, far away feel uncomfortably real, even more than "Rogue One" did. It's a world that, figuratively speaking, is far removed from the one of "the dark and the light" that Snoke occupies, Serkis noted. "This is much more about the gray areas of the 'Star Wars' universe."

New episodes of "Andor" premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.