‘I’ll F**king Kill You All’: The Question That Had Paul Giamatti Joking About Killing His Agents Over Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes

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Written By Maya Cantina

When an actor like Paul Giamatti really wants a part, good luck trying to stop them from getting it. This lesson was something the actor’s representation learned pretty early on, as far back as the casting for Tim Burton’s reboot to one of the best sci-fi movies of all time, Planet of the Apes

Through the course of asking one question, the Academy Award nominated talent was inspired to joke about killing his agents. But as you’ll see in the story that surrounds that conversation, The Holdovers star had his reasons, and they were coming from the right place. 

In one of GQ’s latest YouTube videos, it was Paul’s turn to run through his resume of acting in the world of Hollywood. Sharing stories like the time he broke his hand while filming HBO’s John Adams, his storytelling abilities were on full display. And thanks to that conversation, this story of how Paul Giamatti’s Apes fandom contributed to such threats could be told: 

I was obsessed with the Planet of the Apes movies as a kid, so the notion that I could be in one of those was mind blowing to me. … My agents were like, ‘Don’t you think you should play a human, so they can see your face?’ And I was like, ‘If you tell them I wanna play a human in this, I’ll fucking kill you all.’ I was like, ‘I’m gonna play an ape.’

If I was in Paul Giamatti’s position, I probably would have made that same jokes. While it’s always nice to be seen as an actor, when you love something like the Planet of the Apes franchise, what side do you really think you’ll want to be a part of? If I was given the chance to slip into a mocap suit, or extensive prosthetics to play an ape, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

That’s just part of the dedication that this man showed in his role of Limbo, a scheming orangutan who knows how to sell a human in an ape dominated world. Further sharing his process of digging into the world of the Mark Wahlberg-led film, currently available to stream through a Hulu subscription, Giamatti showed just how far he went to make his time as an ape magic: 

I had these crazy, giant teeth. I asked them to give me some teeth to practice with, because I wanted to be able to talk. A lot of people ADR’d it later, because they were just, you couldn’t fucking understand anybody. … But I really wanted to learn how to talk with the teeth in … it gives you everything, I didn’t want to take it off. I wanted to stay in it all the time, I loved it. Getting to do all that monkey training and all that stuff, the physical stuff, everything was there for me to do.

That’s a pretty bold strategy, especially when 2001’s Planet of the Apes was made in a world where motion capture suits were just starting to become a part of the cinematic landscape. No amount of eager energy could make up or the fact that those sorts of suits aren’t exactly fun in the heat. Citing the work of special effects makeup pros like Rick Carter and Bill Corso as part of the fun, Paul could quite possibly be counted as one of the MVPs of the picture to this very day.

As we make our way into the 2024 movie schedule, the impending release of another sweeping simian epic is upon us in the first half of the year. Thanks to this story about Paul Giamatti being that obsessed with the series, I’m kind of surprised and shocked that what we know about Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes hasn’t answered one important question: why hasn’t Paul been cast in any of the reboot films?! 

With director Wes Ball starting a new epoch of history, set centuries after Caesar’s trilogy took place, there’s room for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ cast to add new figures for the road ahead. Maybe with this video floating around the internet, the powers that be may consider Paul Giamatti for a part in future sequels. It’s not a bad option to keep in mind, thanks to his obvious drive to be the best ape possible so clearly on display.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes rises to show the dawn of a new war in this sci-fi landmark, on May 24, 2024. So you may want to check your theater on opening day, as Paul Giamatti could be a part of the opening weekend festivities. Let’s just hope his agents get in touch soon after, as they’ll want to get ahead of any other jokes involving bodily harm. 

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