Books | May 8, 2020 7:27 am

Andy Serkis to Do Marathon Reading of “The Hobbit” to Benefit NHS

One might say that the narrative is precious to him

Andy Serkis
Andy Serkis in 2014.
Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

There are certain actors whose voices lend themselves to reading for extended period of time. They have a knack for storytelling; they can pull off distinctive voices for a massive cast of characters and keep an audience in suspense even when the story is a familiar one. Being a great actor doesn’t necessarily make you a great narrator, but the two skill sets aren’t too far removed from one another.

As actors who can pull double duty as storytellers go, Andy Serkis is high on that list. Serkis is best-known for his motion-capture performances — most notably, as Gollum — in the Lord of the Rings films, but he’s received plenty of acclaim for his work both portraying animated characters and acting in the flesh. At a time when many artists are working to raise money for worthy institutions, Serkis has joined this cause, and he’s done so with a book that he knows quite well.

The Guardian reports that Serkis will spend Friday reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit to benefit the National Health Service. And by “reading,” we mean the entire thing. Serkis estimates that it’ll take between 10 and 12 hours.

There’s more information on the project’s GoFundMe page, including a suggestion that hitting the project’s goal might result in an intriguing incentive:

I will be announcing on this page how to live stream my Adventure so stay tuned and donate. If we hit our target of £100,000, there may be a special surprise later in our journey.

Will he be joined by one  (or more)of his Lord of the Rings castmates? Will he do the entire thing in character as Gollum? Only Andy Serkis knows for sure.

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