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[…] Unlike his Twilight character Emmett Cullen, Lutz’s Tarzan will be brought to life with performance capture, the same CG technology used to realize Lord of the Rings’ Gollum and fully animated films like Polar Express and The Adventures of Tintin. “It’s kind of like acting in live theater, so you have to be expressive,” says Lutz. “Normal acting, you can be somewhat expressionless, [but] that won’t register. You have to be bigger. You have to take your beats. If I’m wrestling an alligator… ‘Grab the knife!’ — STAB! Versus like doing something so quick and fluid.” 3D animated performance capture also speeds up the acting process. According to Lutz, the experience is “like having 60 cameras at one time, so when you do a scene, you only do a scene twice because they have every angle.”
While Lutz loves the technology-infused style of acting, he didn’t audition for Tarzan knowing he’d end up in a one-piece, swinging from vines that would only be created after the fact. “When I auditioned, I wore my Conan wig, because I was testing for Conan the Narbarian at the time,” says Lutz. “So I had this wig that I made for that so I wore that and then I walked into the audition in my underwear.” (Remember his 2010 Calvin Klein X underwear campaign?) Only after his audition was he told the film would be animated. Unfortunately, his beefed up physical presence — what you might expect from a Tarzan — wouldn’t work. “They’re like, ‘No can you actually slim down so you can fit in the suit,’”Lutz explained. […]
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