Terry Notary

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Terry Notary
Notary in 2018
Born (1968-08-14) August 14, 1968 (age 55)
San Rafael, California, United States
  • Actor
  • stunt co-ordinator/double
  • movement coach

Terry Notary (born August 14, 1968)[1] is an American actor, stunt co-ordinator/double and movement coach.[2] Notary mainly portrays creatures and animals for the film and television industry, and is known for his motion capture performances in films like Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin: Secrets of the Unicorn, the Planet of the Apes reboot series, The Hobbit trilogy, and Kong: Skull Island. In 2018, Notary played Cull Obsidian in the Marvel Studios films Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Early life[edit]

Born in San Rafael, California, Notary was diagnosed as being severely hyperactive at age 7. His parents enrolled him in gymnastics class to burn off excess energy.[3] He won a gymnastics scholarship at UCLA, where he graduated with a major in theatre.


Notary's first career was as a performer with Cirque du Soleil. His first job as a stunt movement coach was on Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Director Ron Howard was hiring Cirque gymnasts for the film, and after sufficiently impressing Howard, Notary was offered the job of teaching all the actors how to move.[4] Notary followed this new career path to Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, for which he prepared by studying ape movements at the LA County Zoo. Notary's first motion capture film was Avatar, where he was the movement coach for the Na'vi.[5]

Swedish director Ruben Östlund hired Notary when casting his Palme d'Or-winning 2017 film The Square. For Oleg, a character who acts like an ape, Östlund discovered Notary after running a Google search for "actor imitating monkey" and viewing one of Notary's performances (which was for an audition for Planet of the Apes).[6] His performance in that single scene, in which a performance artist acts like a hostile ape at a fancy dinner, was widely praised, The Independent calling it "the most tense, uncomfortable scene of the year."[7][8][9][10]


Year Title Stunt work Role
2000 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Stunt performer / movement coach
2001 The Animal Stunt performer
Planet of the Apes Stunt performer / Tim Roth's stunt double (uncredited) /
movement coach
Various Ape Extras
The Hot Chick Stunt performer
2003 X2 Stunt performer / movement coach
Tarzan Animal movement coach
2004 The Village Movement coach
2005 Me and You and Everyone We Know Stunt co-ordinator
2006 Superman Returns Stunt performer / movement coach
2007 If I Had Known I Was A Genius Stunt co-ordinator
Slipstream Stunt co-ordinator (uncredited)
Next Stunt double (uncredited)/ movement coach (uncredited)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Stunt performer / Silver Surfer MoCap performer /
movement coach
2008 The Incredible Hulk Movement coach / Tim Roth's stunt double (uncredited) /
Hulk & Abomination MoCap performers
Soldier (uncredited)
2009 The Forgotten Ones Stunt co-ordinator Alpha Creature
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Movement coach
Avatar Stunts / MoCap performer/ movement coach Banshee (uncredited)
2010 The Lost Tribe Executive producer/ stunt co-ordinator/ movement coach Alpha Male
Primal Stunt co-ordinator
2011 Attack the Block Movement coach Head Alien
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Stunt co-ordinator / Andy Serkis & Richard Ridings's stunt double /
movement coach
Rocket / Bright Eyes
The Adventures of Tintin Stunt co-ordinator/ stunt performer / MoCap performer /
movement coach
The Cabin in the Woods Stunt performer / movement coach Clown
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey MoCap performer/ movement coach Goblin
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Stunt performer / movement coach Goblin / Yazneg (pick-up shots)
2014 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Stunt co-ordinator / movement coach Rocket
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Movement coach Laketown Refugee
2016 Warcraft Stunt coordinator / movement coach Grommash Hellscream
2017 Kong: Skull Island MoCap performer King Kong
War for the Planet of the Apes Stunt co-ordinator / movement coach Rocket
The Square Actor Oleg
2018 Avengers: Infinity War Groot MoCap performer[11] Cull Obsidian (motion capture
and voice)
2019 Avengers: Endgame
The Lion King MoCap performer
Doctor Sleep Stunt performer / movement coach
2020 The Call of the Wild MoCap performer Rail Worker / Buck
2022 Nope MoCap performer Gordy
Thor: Love and Thunder Groot MoCap performer
2024 The Electric State MoCap performer


  1. ^ SensaCine. "Terry Notary". SensaCine.com. Archived from the original on 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  2. ^ Caranicas, Peter (Aug 9, 2011). "Terry Notary on 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'". Variety. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  3. ^ Dundjerski, Marina. "Monkey Business". UCLA Magazine. No. Fall 2001. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  4. ^ Bhattacharya, Sanjiv (11 July 2014). "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: how to act like an ape". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  5. ^ "MEET THE TALENT – TERRY NOTARY". Animatrik.com. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  6. ^ Utichi, Joe (29 May 2017). "Meet Ruben Östlund, Director Of The Newly-Crowned Palme D'Or Winner, 'The Square' – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Ruben Östlund and Terry Notary on the Stunning Climax of 'The Square'". 1 November 2017. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  8. ^ Yuan, Jada (6 November 2017). "The Square's Monkey-Man Scene Is Bonkers. Here's How It Was Made". Archived from the original on 4 January 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  9. ^ "How 'The Square' Used a Half-Naked Ape-Man to Pull Off the Film's Most "Intense and Unexpected" Scene". The Hollywood Reporter. 14 November 2017. Archived from the original on 23 January 2021. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  10. ^ "How the most tense, uncomfortable scene of the year was achieved". Independent.co.uk. 22 March 2018. Archived from the original on 4 January 2023. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  11. ^ Alter, Ethan (October 25, 2017). "Terry Notary on going ape in 'The Square' and playing teen Groot in 'Avengers'; plus, an exclusive clip". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.

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