Planet of the Apes Wiki

Acrobat and actor Terry Notary was a stunt double, stunt coordinator and movement instructor in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (2001), and performed the same function as well as playing the roles of Bright Eyes and Rocket in the 2011 movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the 2017 third film War for the Planet of the Apes.

As a child in his hometown of San Rafael, California, Notary was diagnosed as being severely hyperactive, and his parents enrolled him in a gymnastics class to burn off some of his excess energy. By the time he was 17, he had won regional and state championships and placed second at nationals. He attended UCLA on a scholarship while living in a camper-van that he parked on Veteran Avenue, studying for midterms and finals by candlelight and sprinting out to a coffee or sandwich shop in Westwood to use

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a bathroom. Cirque du Soleil then recruited Notary for the premiere of its 'Mystere' show in Las Vegas, where he also met his wife, Rhonda, a dancer. He spent five years as a Cirque du Soleil acrobat and in 1996, Notary and Rhonda moved to New York, where he took up photography, directed circus shows, got work in a few operas at the Metropolitan Opera House and started his own production company, Emitime. Not long afterward, he was called to work as movement coach for Ron Howard's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, for which he ran 'Who

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School', teaching the whimsical Whos of Whoville to do stunts in a seemingly magical way. Shortly after that gig was over, he got the call to do Burton's Apes feature.[1] In late 2000, an 'Ape School' of movement training classes for the actors who would portray apes in the forthcoming movie was organized by Charlie Croughwell on Stage 5 at Los Angeles Center Studios. Ape School instructors were Terry Notary and John Alexander, who had played the title role in Mighty Joe Young and 'Digit' in Gorillas in the Mist. For six intensive weeks, they trained the principals (including Tim Roth, Glenn Shadix, Lisa Marie, Helena Bonham Carter and David Warner), and one hundred extras attended three-day workshops, teaching them to walk, run, eat, grunt and fight like apes. Once the cameras rolled, Notary carried a

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new Ape School from soundstage to locations such as Trona Pinnacles (in the California desert near Death Valley; climactic setting for apes and humans clashing in a final battle) for both newcomers and past graduates. Not only was he on the set to continue coaching the actors (principals as well as some 400 extras), Notary also stunt-doubled for the malevolent chimpanzee warlord Thade's more spectacular stunts in the movie, plus four other ape characters. He was lauded by the Los Angeles Daily News, who called him "the real hero" of the movie.[2][3][4][1]

Notary went on to work on choreography, movement coaching and stunts on X2 (2003), Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), The Incredible Hulk (2008), The Forgotten Ones (2009), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), James Cameron's Avatar (2009) and The Lost Tribe (2010). After Rise of the Planet of the Apes he worked on The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011) and Peter Jackson's The Hobbit (2012, 2013 & 2014).

In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Notary also played "about 1,000 other apes in the background", multiplied through the magic of computer graphics: "Whenever you see armies of apes charging through the trees - that's five of us".[5]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Monkey Business, by Marina Dundjerski - UCLA Magazine (Fall 2001)
  2. The Planet of the Apes Chronicles, by Paul A. Woods
  3. Inside the Planet of the Apes, by Mark Cotta Vaz - Cinefex #87 (October 2001)
  4. Planet of the Apes Fanclub news page
  5. Movie Apes Unmasked!, by Jim Nelson - 'National Enquirer' (28 July 2014)