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How Elon Musk Inspired Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

How Elon Musk Inspired Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

If you find yourself watching the season’s first big blockbuster, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, this weekend and can’t help but think of Tesla CEO and tech billionaire Elon Musk in one of the key characters… you’re not wrong.

Kevin Durand, one of the stars of the new Planet of the Apes film – who plays evil ape Proximus Caesar – has admitted in an interview with GamesRadar+ that Musk was one of its inspirations for the villainous character.

Durand, best known for his role as Martin Keamy on Lost, said he has actually been mistaken for Elon Musk several times during his career. “It’s awesome!” Durand said when told his character in the film was compared to Musk.

“I mean, even with the bonobo face, they compare me to Elon Musk… I have Elon Musk all the time actually, it’s very funny.”

He continued: “People approach me with a look in their eyes and I realize they’re not meeting an actor they love, it’s something bigger. But the fact that this manifests even when I’m a monkey is fantastic! »

However, Durand explains that Musk wasn’t the only celebrity he based the Proximus Caesar character on. “I’ve watched some really charismatic speakers — I’ve watched a lot of (life coach) Tony Robbins, Elon, Arnold Schwarzenegger do like his gubernatorial speeches,” he explained.

“Just these humans who, without trying, you just have to observe them as they hold so much power and charisma,” he stressed.

Although Proximus Caesar’s look and personality may have been inspired by Musk and these others, Durand wanted to combine that with an original voice for the character, and he found one amid improvisation exercises during his and his co-star Owen Teague calls it “monkey school.”

The two apparently took lessons on how to look and act like monkeys during rehearsals. “Four weeks after I entered the monkey school, I was asked a question and I was so in my body, but I didn’t know what the voice was yet,” Durand explained.

“All of a sudden I was like ‘what a wonderful day’ (as Proximus Caesar) and the voice started coming out.”

This not only gave a voice, but also what turned out to be a slogan for Proximus Caesar. “They said ‘wait a second’, took their phone and filmed me talking. Everything felt really organic through this process.

It is not yet clear whether Proximus Caesar has other similarities with Elon Musk. Has he found a game-changing electric car maker? Or torpedo a previously successful social media company with poorly designed tweets and poor management skills? For these answers, you just have to go to the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes to find out.