“Tintin” fans know Captain Haddock as the rum-loving, fiery-tempered seaman who supplies many of the Belgian comic’s funniest lines in his role as Tintin’s unstable sidekick. The mischief-maker created by the artist Hergé will be just as salty in Steven Spielberg’s motion-capture adaptation “The Adventures of Tintin,” according to the actor who plays him, Andy Serkis.
“When we meet Captain Haddock, he’s a chaotic, self-pitying shipwreck of a human being who has completely imploded and is carrying somewhere in his mind the guilt of the sins of the fathers and forefathers,” Serkis said, a few moments before heading to “The Adventures of Tintin” panel Friday at Comic-Con. “He’s basically softened and numbed the pain with alcohol. He’s a big drinker.”
The “Tintin” footage Spielberg unveiled at Comic-Con showed Tintin (Jamie Bell) meeting Haddock for the first time, as the cub reporter is investigating a shipwreck. The budding friendship between the duo is the central relationship of the film, Serkis said. “It’s a bizarre relationship,” he said. “Tintin is this young, driven reporter with a very strong moral compass. He’s 16 years old. And basically, Haddock is unable to move forward as a human being. Eventually he begins to, as he becomes more lucid about his past, and Tintin is drawing a kind of story out of him. Haddock becomes quite affectionate towards Tintin.”
Serkis has plenty of experience communicating a character’s inner torment within the high-tech movie-making environment of motion capture — it’s a job he performed as “The Lord of the Rings’ ” Gollum, the title gorilla in “King Kong” and the lead primate in this summer’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
“The thing that’s really appealing about Haddock is that he’s very visceral,” Serkis said. “Underneath all that salt, his heart is 100% in the right place. If he’s angry, he’s 100% angry. He’s full of rage. He charges 100 miles an hour down the wrong alley. If he cries, he weeps and weeps. It’s a very full-blooded character.”
– Rebecca Keegan
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