"I was thinking about the character, and I said, 'You know what? I need a monkey.' Adam said, 'What the fuck are you talking about?' And I said, 'I'm serious — I need a monkey.' When Stacee's not onstage, he's kind of sad. And I thought, This guy has to have a monkey that's his best friend. Adam found this baboon. He sent me the baboon's audition tape, and I said, 'The baboon's name has to be Hey Man.' Stacee Jaxx doesn't work without Hey Man." — Tom Cruise in W Magazine
A few days ago The Hollywood Reporterasked a question, we assumed, in jest: Will Andy Serkis receive an Oscar nomination for his motion-captured performance as an angry monkey in Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Sure, we thought. As if the equally worthy performance by the smoking monkey in Hangover Part II weren’t obviously going to split the vote! But the article did raise an interesting point or two, about how definitions of “performance” have changed, especially in the post-Avatar world. It also claimed that a nomination had “eluded” Serkis when he played Gollum in Lord of the Rings, a technologically fascinating, nearly unwatchable performance hailed by absolutely no one for its subtlety and grace. Anyway, since we already felt pretty confident about who’s going home with gold next year, we dismissed it and went about our monkey-free lives.