‘Tintin’: Andy Serkis’ Captain Haddock is ‘shipwreck of a human’

July 26, 2011 | 1:19 p.m.
tintin5 Tintin: Andy Serkis Captain Haddock is shipwreck of a human

Captain Haddock rides with Tintin in "The Adventures of Tintin." Credit: Paramount Pictures

“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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3 Responses to ‘Tintin’: Andy Serkis’ Captain Haddock is ‘shipwreck of a human’

  1. jock123 says:

    Blistering barnacles! It’s *whisky*, not rum that Haddock loves – although it would do in a pinch!

    Seriously, a nice piece, and good to see Tintin finally getting the recognition he deserves in the U.S.

    Although he does have his devotees over there, and we get a good number of them visiting our tintinologist.org web-site, hopefully the wider audience in America will find out what the rest of the world seems to have known for decades – Hergé and Tintin are true classics of the comic-book world.

  2. Matt G says:

    How could they make this American! The effects are good and all but calling the dog SNOWY! What the hell were they thinking Americanizing this classic series. They pronounce his name wrong and they completely screwed up Haddock. Herge if alive today would be ashamed of seeing this.

  3. Cabinboy says:

    Matt G how do you know what Herge would think? Stop being some elitist purist bunghole and just enjoy the fact they spent all of this time and money to do it. You really sound like a spoiled brat!

    I think the movie was great and as a fan of slash… the movie had a lot of slash value as I favor Tintin and Haddock later when (Tintin becomes legal) becoming an item.

    They really brought the characters to life, although I do wished they wouldn't have forgotten the whole opium drug trade on the boat, some plots I don't think they should have left out. I was kind of hoping to see the whole champagne sequence too… but for what they did it was great and I can't wait to see Professor Calculus in the next film, it will be simply amazing and can't wait to see Zorrino!

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