Andy Serkis didn’t know what Supreme Leader Snoke looked like at first, either, he tells Entertainment Weekly. “It’s the first time I’ve been on set not yet knowing what the character’s gonna look like. I mean talk about secrecy!” And his look was changing throughout filming of The Force Awakens:
“When we first started working on it, he had some rough notions of how Snoke was gonna look, but it really hadn’t been fully-formed and it almost came out of discussion and performance,” Serkis says.
He’s too “tall” and “extreme” for prosthetics, Serkis says. “Without giving too much away at this point, he has a very distinctive, idiosyncratic bone structure and facial structure.”
As for the character:
“Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful,” Serkis says. “Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose.”
He’s not anyone we’ve already met, either. (It’s been a bad week for Darth Plagueis-based rumors.)
“No, he’s a new character in this universe. It is very much a newly-introduced character,” Serkis says. “He’s aware of what’s gone on, in the respect that he has been around and is aware of prior events. I think it’d be fair to say that he is aware of the past to a great degree.”
Serkis also says that he and Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata “are the only two performance-capture characters in an otherwise very analog world.”