Andy Serkis is currently reading J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Hobbit in its entirety live on YouTube to raise money for charity.
The Gollum actor began his charity “Hobbitathon” at 10am BST (5am EST) on Friday and expects it to take around 12 hours, which means he should complete the epic reading at around 5pm EST.
He paused at 11am BST to observe a two-minute silence for the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day), but other than that, bathroom breaks will be his only brief pauses.
As he reads the Tolkien classic, Serkis is welcoming donations to two U.K. nonprofits helping people affected by coronavirus, Best Beginnings and NHS Charities Together. He said on his GoFundMe page ahead of the live-stream that “if we hit our target of £100,000 ($124,000), there may be a special surprise later in our journey.”
By 9am EST, he had already secured £170,000 ($210,000), which means the “special surprise” is surely coming soon.
Ahead of the Hobbitathon, Serkis told the Press Association: “I’m not going to be doing impersonations of the great voices like Ian McKellen‘s and Martin Freeman‘s in our film, but I will probably nod to them in some way.”
“I will try to find my own version but I will be giving it welly,” he added.
— Andy Serkis (@andyserkis) May 3, 2020
Serkis portrayed Gollum a.k.a. Sméagol in Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Ring movies, then reprised the role in The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey. Gollum doesn’t appear in the final two The Hobbit movies, though Serkis returned to the franchise as second unit director.
Check him out channeling Gollum on The Graham Norton Show back in 2017.
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