Corine Cohen: I was very moved by your portrayal of Maurice. He has a giant heart, the Nova part made me cry. I read that you studied orangutans to prepare for the role. Tell me how you channeled Maurice.
Karin Konoval: There have been many aspects of my preparation for playing the role of Maurice through these three films, to portray him with physical, psychological and vocal integrity as a mature male orangutan and as an evolving character through the stories. The first thing I did was extensive book and video research, and physical training in quadrupedal movement under Terry Notary’s expert guidance. The physical training was very challenging, and it took considerable daily practice for a long time to get at ease with quadrupedal movement, and specifically orangutan movement. My vocal research and preparation was also intensive, working to get an orangutan “long call” into my voice. Mature male orangutans have an enormous throat sac that enables them to resonate their vocalizations for great distances, and each long call is unique, and also there are several parts to the call. For the past seven years, I’ve continued to work at developing resonances and particular sounds to give to Maurice’s voice. The key to Maurice’s character for me came when I traveled to observe orangutan Towan at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle in August 2010, and he, in turn, chose to observe me. I had been watching him from a distance for some time when he came to the window to see me, and as he closely studied up and down my face he pretty much gave me the quintessential understanding of Maurice’s character, which became the grounding for all of my work since then. After “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” opened, I was invited for a personal introduction to Towan and his orangutan family, and since then I have visited regularly with them all, and they have all given me inspiration for various aspects of Maurice’s character, and influenced how I approached different moments in “Dawn” and “War.” But first and foremost always, it is Towan and what I learned from him that has given me the heart and soul of Maurice.
Corine Cohen: Maurice and Bad Ape bring sweetness to the film. Did you have any say on the roles?
Karin Konoval: I was cast as Maurice in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” in 2010, and have played Maurice through these three films. I am purely an actor very happy to portray the role I was cast in!
Corine Cohen: What is next for Maurice? If you could write a sequel what would happen? Would Maurice and Bad Ape take over for Caesar and would Nova be part of the mix?
Karin Konoval: Again, I have no idea what might or might not be next for Maurice, that’s not for me to even guess at. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to play Maurice through these three films, a journey that for me as an actor has been one of the most challenging and rewarding of my career.
Corine Cohen: I heard you are in something now. Can you share what you are in?
Karin Konoval: I’m currently filming a really interesting role in season two of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” for BBC and Netflix. I’m not allowed to share more about it at this time, but it’s a wonderful role and I’m really enjoying being part of the series!
Corine Cohen: I was very moved by your acting in all three films and can’t wait to find out more about your next film. You’re acting in both “Dawn” “Rise” and “War” are the most exciting parts of the films and I adored watching you play Maurice. An excellent acting job and very moving. Thanks for doing this interview.
Congratulations on your incredible acting in both films. I was very impressed with your performance and hope you get nominated. You were my favorite character and I hope to see more. I wish I could speak to the writer to get an idea of what will happen next. See Karin in “PLANET OF THE APES WAR” and “DAWN” can be found on video. All three films are a must see!
Thank you very much!