Andy Serkis Wikipedia

Andy Serkis
Andy Serkis 2014 WonderCon (cropped).jpg
Serkis at 2014 WonderCon
BornAndrew Clement Serkis

(1964-04-20) 20 April 1964 (age 50)

Ruislip, Middlesex, UK
OccupationActor, voice artist, director, author
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Lorraine Ashbourne

Official website
Andrew Clement "Andy" Serkis (born 20 April 1964) is a British film actor, director and author.

Serkis is best known for his performance capture roles comprising motion capture acting, animation and voice work for such computer-generated characters as: Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), King Kong in the eponymous 2005 film, Caesar in Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2011, 2014) and Captain Haddock in Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin (2011). Serkis' film work in motion capture has been critically acclaimed, earning him recognition from many associations that do not traditionally recognise motion capture as "real acting". Serkis has received an Empire Award, a National Board of Review Award, two Saturn Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his motion capture work.

Serkis also earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for his portrayal of serial killer Ian Brady in the British television film Longford (2006); and he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his portrayal of new wave and punk rock musician Ian Dury in the biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010). In 2014, he was confirmed as a part of the main cast of Star Wars Episode VII.


      Early life

      Serkis, one of five children, was born and brought up in Ruislip Manor in West London. His mother, Lylie (née Weech), was English and taught disabled children. His father, Clement Serkis, was an Iraqi gynaecologist of Armenian ethnicity. His ancestors' original surname was Sarkisian. His father often worked away in the Middle East, while he was brought up in Britain, with regular holidays in the Middle East including to Tyre, Sidon, Damascus and Baghdad.

      Serkis was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing, and then studied visual arts at Lancaster University. He chose theatre as a secondary subject so that he could design posters. Serkis was a member of the County College, and part of the student radio station Bailrigg FM. He joined the Nuffield Studio, getting involved in designing and producing plays.

      Having agreed to act in a couple of productions, towards the end of his first year Serkis played the lead role in Barrie Keeffe's play Gotcha, as a rebellious teenager holding a teacher hostage. As a result, he changed his major subject to acting, constructing his Independent Studies Degree around acting and set design, studying Stanislavski and Brecht, and including minor modules in art and visual graphics. In his final year at Lancaster he adapted Raymond Briggs's graphic novel 'The Tinpot Foreign General and the Old Iron Woman', a satire about the Falklands War, as a one-man show which he performed to acclaim.


      In his third year at college, Serkis joined the backstage team at the local Duke's Playhouse to earn his Equity card. On graduation, although advised to take a one-year post-graduate acting course, he joined Dukes as an actor and, under director Jonathan Petherbridge who used workshops based upon the methods of Augusto Boal, spent 18 months acting in a broad range of productions from Brecht through Shakespeare to modern British playwrights.

      After 16 months, and having gained his Equity card, Serkis joined a series of touring companies, including productions of: Bouncers opposite Hull Truck; Florizel in The Winter's Tale; and the fool in King Lear with director Max Stafford-Clark. In the early 1990s he settled in London, and took roles in Dogboy, the Royal Court Theatre's production of Mojo, Bill Sikes in a television film of Oliver Twist (1999) and Wilson Milam's production of Hurlyburly (1997) at the Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, with Rupert Graves and David Tennant.

      Like many British actors, Serkis made the move to television by appearing in small roles, such as Greville in an episode of The Darling Buds of May (1992). However, one of his first major starring roles was in the joint BBC/HBO production of Einstein and Eddington (2008). Serkis played Albert Einstein, following the development of his theory of relativity, while David Tennant played British scientist Sir Arthur Eddington. Serkis joined director Mike Leigh's ensemble for two film productions, and appeared in the romantic comedy Loop (1999) alongside Susannah York.

      Serkis' most critically acclaimed roles have been Sméagol/Gollum, in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–03), the title character in the 2005 version of King Kong, in which he provided both the voice and movements for the CGI character as well as the ship's cook, and as 1970s new wave singer Ian Dury in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010).

      His work on The Lord of the Rings started a debate on the legitimacy of CGI-assisted acting. Some critics felt Serkis should have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, since his voice, body language, and facial expressions were used. There is the argument that his CGI actions were partially, or in some cases fully, animated without his movements, but the same is true for actors in a traditional film with CGI (uncredited, Serkis also voices the Witch-king of Angmar, as well as several orc characters). Serkis does appear briefly as Sméagol before he transforms into Gollum, and the CGI Gollum's facial characteristics are fundamentally based on Serkis' own. For his work as Sméagol/Gollum in the trilogy, he was given a copy of the Ring of Power to keep from that series, just as others in the cast could take home other items from The Lord of the Rings.

      Serkis worked with game developers Ninja Theory on the 2007 release Heavenly Sword, providing the motion capture and voice for King Bohan (the game's main villain), as well as acting as Dramatic Director for the game. He has played 30 roles in film and television productions. One of his earliest feature film appearances was alongside Sacha Baron Cohen in The Jolly Boys' Last Stand.

      Serkis in his mocap suit for King Kong
      Serkis was cast as serial killer Ian Brady in the BAFTA-nominated Longford, co-starring Samantha Morton as Myra Hindley and Jim Broadbent as Lord Longford. The film was attacked by relatives of Brady's and Hindley's victims. Winnie Johnson, the mother of Keith Bennett whose body has never been found, publicly criticised Serkis for requesting a meeting with Brady in preparation for the role. Serkis only portrayed Brady in two scenes in the film, both depict prison visits by Longford, with Brady urging him not to support Hindley as she is a manipulative woman who will "destroy" him.

      In 2006, Serkis appeared in the role of Mr Grin in the film rendition of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider novel Stormbreaker. In 2006, he was in the film The Prestige as Mr. Alley, assistant to Nikola Tesla, and as the voice of Spike, one of the henchrats in the Aardman Animations film Flushed Away. In 2006 Serkis appeared in Jim Threapleton's improvised feature film, Extraordinary Rendition, which premiered in 2007.

      Serkis appeared in Sugarhouse, a low-budget independently made film, playing local crime lord Hoodwink, who terrorises an east London housing estate. For the role, Serkis shaved his head and had sessions lasting 20 hours each to have temporary tattoos stencilled onto his body. The film premiered at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival and released in the UK on 24 August 2007.

      Serkis at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International.
      In 2007, Serkis provided the voice over for Monkey Life, Five broadcast for three weeks from 13–31 August 2007. This series is about Monkey World, the popular ape and monkey sanctuary and zoo near Wool, Dorset. Serkis reunited with Peter Jackson, as a cast member in Jackson's and Steven Spielberg's Tintin trilogy, based on The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. Filming began in January 2009 and the film was released in 2011. Filming was due to begin in September 2008 but was delayed due to Universal pulling out of backing the project. In 2008, Serkis appeared as Rigaud in the BBC Television adaptation Little Dorrit.

      In 2009, Serkis voiced the role of the demon Screwtape in Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre audio drama of The Screwtape Letters.

      In 2010, Serkis was cast as William Burke for the John Landis film Burke and Hare opposite Simon Pegg.

      In 2010, Serkis features in the TV series The Accused, in "Liam's Story", written by Danny Brocklehurst and Jimmy McGovern. He plays "Caesar" in the 20th Century Fox science-fiction film Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

      In October 2010, Serkis played Monkey, the lead character along with Lindsay Shaw in the videogame Enslaved: Odyssey to the West created by Ninja Theory.

      In January 2011, it was confirmed that Serkis would reprise the role of Gollum in the three-part The Hobbit films which will be released in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He was also the film's second unit director, which included directing aerial shots and battle scenes. He was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2012 along with 175 other individuals.

      On April 29, 2014, it was announced that Serkis would be a cast member for Star Wars Episode VII.

      The Imaginarium Studios

      In 2011, Serkis founded The Imaginarium Studios with film producer Jonathan Cavendish. The Imaginarium is a creative digital studio based in Ealing, dedicated to the invention of believable, emotionally engaging digital characters using Performance Capture technology, in which Serkis specialises. On 20 October 2012 the studio acquired rights to The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and a new motion capture adaptation of Animal Farm, which Serkis will direct.


      Serkis has served as the second unit director for The Hobbit films and will make his directing debut for The Jungle Book.

      Personal life

      Serkis at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International.
      Serkis married actress Lorraine Ashbourne in July 2002. Serkis lives in Crouch End, North London with his wife and their three children: Ruby (b. 1998), Sonny (b. 2000) and Louis (b. 2004).

      Serkis was a vegetarian but started to eat fish during the filming of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. He writes about it in his book Gollum: How We Made Movie Magic, published in 2004.[citation needed]

      Serkis was born to Catholic parents, and though he has been an atheist since his teenage years, he is drawn to the karmic possibilities of energy transference, specifically "the idea that your energy lives on after you".



      1994Prince of JutlandTorsten
      1995The Near RoomBunny
      1996Stella Does TricksFitz
      1997Career GirlsNick Evans
      1998The Tale of Sweety BarrettLeo King
      1998Among GiantsBob
      1998CluelessDavidShort film
      1998InsomniaHarryShort film
      1999Topsy-TurvyJohn D'Auban
      1999Five Seconds to SpareChester
      2000Arabian NightsKasim
      2000PandaemoniumJohn Thelwall
      2000The Jolly Boys' Last StandSpider
      2001The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingGollum and Witch-king of Angmar
      2002The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersSméagol/Gollum and Snaga
      2002The EscapistRicky Barnes
      2002DeathwatchPvt. Thomas Quinn
      200224 Hour Party PeopleMartin Hannett
      2003The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingSméagol/GollumAppears as the Witch-King on extended version
      2004BlessedFather Carlo
      200413 Going on 30Richard Kneeland
      2004Standing Room OnlyGranny, Rastafarian and Hunter Jackson
      2005King KongKing Kong and Lumpy the Cook
      2005Stories of Lost SoulsGranny, Rastafarian and Hunter Jackson
      2006Extraordinary RenditionLead Interrogator
      2006LongfordIan Brady
      2006StormbreakerMr. Grin
      2006The PrestigeMr. Alley
      2006Flushed AwaySpikeVoice
      2008The CottageDavid
      2009Sex & Drugs & Rock & RollIan Dury
      2010Burke and HareWilliam Hare
      2010Death of a SuperheroDr. Adrian King
      2011Brighton RockMr. Colleoni
      2011Rise of the Planet of the ApesCaesar
      2011Arthur ChristmasGeneral Elf
      2011The Adventures of TintinCaptain Haddock and Sir Francis Haddock
      2012Wild BillGlen
      2012The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyGollumAlso second unit director
      2012The SpiderEverett
      2013The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugSecond unit director
      2014GodzillaMotion capture consultant
      2014Dawn of the Planet of the ApesCaesarPost-production
      2014The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesPost-production; second unit director
      2015Avengers: Age of UltronTBA
      2015Star Wars Episode VIITBA


      1989Morris Minor and his Marvellous MotorsSparky Plugg
      1992The Darling Buds of MayGrevilleEpisode "Le Grande Weekend"
      1993Pie in the SkyMaxwellEpisode "Passion Fruit Fool"
      1997The Pale HorseSergeant Corrigan
      1998The JumpSteven Brunos
      1999Oliver TwistBill Sikes
      1999Shooting the PastStyeman
      1999Touching Evil IIIMichael Lawler
      2000Arabian NightsKasim
      2004SpooksRiffEpisode "Celebrity"
      2004The SimpsonsCleanieEpisode "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"
      2006Simon Schama's Power of ArtVincent van GoghEpisode "Van Gogh: Wheat Field with Crows"
      2007Monkey Life (TV Series)NarratorSeries 1
      2008Einstein and EddingtonAlbert Einstein
      2008Little DorritRigaud
      2009The Screwtape LettersScrewtape

      Video games

      2002The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersGollumArchive footage
      2003The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingGollumArchive footage
      2007Heavenly SwordKing BohanDramatic director; motion capture
      2009RisenThe Inquisitor
      2010Enslaved: Odyssey to the WestMonkey / The PyramidMotion capture
      2012Lego The Lord of the RingsGollumArchive footage
      2014Lego The HobbitGollumArchive footage

      Awards and nominations

      Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Andy Serkis

      Other works

      • His book Gollum: How We Made Movie Magic (published 2004) explains how he created Gollum, which was originally a three-week voiceover job.
      • He played an abusive boyfriend in the music video for Neneh Cherry's "Woman".

      Source: Wikipedia ( )
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