Andy Serkis


20 Apr 1964


Ruislip, London, England, UK


Andrew Clement G. Serkis


Andrew Clement G. Serkis was born April 20, 1964, in Ruislip Manor, West London, England. He has three sisters and a brother. His father, Clement Serkis, an ethnic Armenian whose original family surname was "Serkissian", was a Medical Doctor working abroad, in Iraq; the Serkis family spent a lot of time traveling around the Middle East. For the first ten years of his life, Andy Serkis used to go backwards and forwards between Baghdad and London. His mother, Lylie (Weech), who is British-born, was busy working as a special education teacher of handicapped children, so Andy and his four siblings were raised with au pairs in the house. Young Andy Serkis wanted to be an artist; he was fond of painting and drawing, and visualized himself working behind the scenes in productions. He attended St. Benedict's School, a Roman Catholic School for boys at the Benedictine Abbey in London. Serkis studied visual arts at Lancaster University in the north-west of England. There, he became involved in mechanical aspects of the theatre and did stage design and set building for theatrical productions. Then, Serkis was asked to play a role in a student production, and made his stage debut in Barrie Keeffe's play, "Gotcha"; thereafter, he switched from stage design to acting, which was a real calling that transformed his life.

Instead of going to an acting college, Serkis, in 1985, began his professional acting career at the Duke's Playhouse in Lancaster, where he was given an Equity card and performed in fourteen plays, one after another, as an apprentice of Jonathan Petherbridge. After that, he worked in touring theatre companies, doing it for no money, fueled by a sense of enthusiasm, moving to a new town every week. He has thus appeared in a host of popular plays and on almost every renowned British stage. In 1989, he appeared in a stage production of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", so beginning his long association with the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where he would return many times, to appear in "She Stoops to Conquer", "Your Home in the West" and the "True Nature of Love", among other plays. In the 1990s, Serkis began to make his mark on the London stage, appearing at the Royal Court Theatre as "The Fool" in "King Lear", making his interpretation of "The Fool" as the woman that "Lear", a widower, could relate to - a man, in drag, as a Victorian musician. He also appeared as "Potts" in the hit play, "Mojo", playing in front of full houses and earning huge critical success. In 1987, Serkis made his debut on television, and he acted in several major British TV miniseries throughout the 1990s.

In 1999, Andy Serkis landed the prize role of "Gollum" in Peter Jackson's epic film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's saga, "The Lord of the Rings". He spent four years in the part and received awards and nominations for his performance as "Gollum", a computer-generated character in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), which won 11 Oscars. "Gollum" was the collaborative team's effort around Serkis's work in performance capture - an art form based on CGI-assisted acting. Serkis's work was an interactive performance in a skin-tight CGI suit with markers allowing cameras to track and register 3D position for each marker. Serkis' every nuance was picked up by several cameras positioned at precisely calculated angles to allow for the software to see enough information to process the image. The images of Serkis' performances were translated into the digital format by animators at Weta Digital studio in New Zealand. There, his image was key-frame animated and then edited into the movie, Serkis did have one scene in "The Return of the King" showing how he originally had the ring, killing another hobbit to posses it after they found it during a fishing trip. He drew from his three cats clearing fur balls out of their throats to develop the constricted voice he produced for "Gollum" and "Sméagol", and it was also enhanced by sound editing in post-production.

Serkis spent almost two years in New Zealand and away from his family, and much of 2002 and 2003 in post-production studios for large periods of time, due to complexity of the creative process of bringing the character of "Gollum" to the screen. Serkis had to shoot two versions for every scene; one version was with him on camera, acting with (chiefly) Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, which served both to show Wood and Astin the moves so that they could precisely interact with the movements of "Gollum", and to provide the CGI artists the subtleties of Gollum's physical movements and facial expressions for their manual finishing of the animated images. In the other version, he'd do the voice off-camera, as Wood and Astin repeated their movements as though "Gollum" were there with them; that take would be the basis for inserting the CGI Gollum used in the released movie. In post-production, Serkis was doing motion-capture wearing a skintight motion capture suit with CGI gear while acting as a virtual puppeteer redoing every single scene in the studio. Additional CGI rotomation was done by animators using the human eye instead of the computer to capture the subtleties of Serkis' performance. Serkis also used this art form in his performance as "Kong" in King Kong (2005), which won him a Toronto Film Critics Association Award (2005) for his unprecedented work helping to realize the main character in "King Kong", and a Visual Effects Society Award (2006) for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture.

Apart from his line of CGI-driven characters, Serkis continued with traditional acting in several leading and supporting roles, such as his appearances as "Richard Kneeland" opposite Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30 (2004), and "Alley" opposite David Bowie in The Prestige (2006), among other film performances. On television, he starred as 'Vincent Van Gogh' in the sixth episode of Simon Schama's Power of Art (2006), the BBC2 series about artists. Serkis is billed as "Capricorn" in the upcoming adventure film, Inkheart (2008). At the same time, he continued the development of performance capture while expanding his career into computer games. He starred as "King Bothan" in the martial arts drama, Heavenly Sword (2007), a Playstation 3 title, for which he provided a basis for his in-game face and also acts as a dramatic director on the project.

Andy Serkis married actress and singer Lorraine Ashbourne, and the couple have three children: daughter Ruby Serkis (born in 1998), and two sons Sonny Serkis (born in 2000) and Louis George Serkis (born on 19 June 2004). Away from acting, Andy Serkis is an accomplished amateur painter. Since his school years at Lancaster, being so close to the Lake District, Serkis developed his other passion in life: mountaineering. He is pescetarian. Serkis has been active in charitable causes, such as The Hope Foundation, which provides essential life-saving medical aid for children suffering from Leukemia and children from countries devastated by war. In October 2006, he was a presenter at the first annual British Academy Video Games Awards at the Roundhouse, London. Andy Serkis lives with his family in North London, England.

Actor ( 133 credits )

Jungle Book (2018) Baloo
Black Panther (2018) Ulysses Klaue / Klaw (rumored)
Star Wars: Episode VIII (2017) Supreme Leader Snoke
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) Caesar
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) Ulysses Klaue
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) Caesar
Late Night with Seth Meyers (2014)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
The Wil Wheaton Project (2014)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2014)
The Drunken Peasants (2014)  Snoke (archive footage) (1 episode, 2016)
The Magnificent Lion Boy (2013) Umberto Farini
Movie Guide (2013)  Gollum (1 episode, 2013)
The Frame (2013)  Caesar (archive footage) (1 episode, 2013)
Weekend Ticket (2013)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) Gollum
London - The Modern Babylon (2012) Quotations reader (voice)
The Hollywood Fast Lane (2012)  Himself - Interviewee (1 episode, 2013)
IC Places Hollywood (2012)  Himself - Interviewee (1 episode, 2012)
The Dark: Nature's Nighttime World (2012)  Narrator (3 episodes, 2012)
Death of a Superhero (2011) Dr. Adrian King
Wild Bill (2011) Glen
Arthur Christmas (2011) Lead Elf (voice)
The Adventures of Tintin (2011) Captain Haddock / Sir Francis Haddock (voice)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) Caesar
The Big Picture (2011)  Himself (1 episode, 2011)
In the Qube 3D (2011)  Himself (1 episode)
Brighton Rock (2010) Colleoni
Burke and Hare (2010) William Hare
Animals United (2010) Charles (voice)
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010) Ian Dury
Conan (2010)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
Accused (2010)  Liam Black (1 episode, 2010)
Special Collector's Edition (2010)  Gollum / ... (1 episode, 2011)
Janela Indiscreta (2010)  Himself (3 episodes, 2011-2014)
Daybreak (2010)  Himself (1 episode, 2011)
Film Fiend (2010)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2011)
The Playboy Morning Show (2010)  Himself (1 episode, 2012)
The Emilio Game Show (2010)  Gollum (archive footage) (1 episode, 2011)
Suicide Man (2009) Taxi despatch (voice)
Live from Studio Five (2009)  Himself (1 episode, 2010)
Inkheart (2008) Capricorn
The Cottage (2008) David
Extraordinary Rendition (2007) Maro, Interrogator
Sugarhouse (2007) Hoodwink
Xposé (2007)  Himself (2 episodes, 2009-2010)
Happy Hour (2007)  Himself (1 episode, 2008)
Up Close with Carrie Keagan (2007)  Himself (1 episode, 2012)
Reel Junkie (2007)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
5 Second Movies (2007)  Gollum (archive footage) (1 episode, 2008)
Monkey Life (2007)  Himself - Narrator (14 episodes, 2007)
Rencontres de cinéma (2007)  Himself (3 episodes, 2012-2014)
Flushed Away (2006) Spike (voice)
The Prestige (2006) Alley
Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (2006) Mr. Grin
The ONE Show (2006)  Himself (1 episode, 2010)
Simon Schama's Power of Art (2006)  Vincent Van Gogh (1 episode, 2006)
The Fabulous Picture Show (2006)  Himself (1 episode, 2010)
Stingray (2006) Stingray (voice)
King Kong (2005) Kong / Lumpy
Stories of Lost Souls (2005) Granny / Rastafarian / Hunter Jackson (segment "Standin
Ringers: Lord of the Fans (2005) Himself
The Colbert Report (2005)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2012)
Made in Hollywood (2005)  Himself (2 episodes, 2012-2014)
20 to 1 (2005)  Gollum (1 episode, 2010)
Ringens disipler (2004)
13 Going on 30 (2004) Richard Kneeland
Blessed (2004) Father Carlo
The Xtra Factor (2004)  Himself (1 episode, 2010)
Miradas 2 (2004)  Himself (1 episode, 2010)
Omg! Insider (2004)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
Standing Room Only (2003) Granny / Rastafarian / Hunter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Gollum / Smeagol
Imagine (2003)  Himself / ... (1 episode, 2010)
The Sharon Osbourne Show (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2004)
4Pop (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2003)
Filmland (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2003)
The Escapist (2002) Ricky Barnes
Deathwatch (2002) Pvt. Thomas Quinn
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) Gollum
24 Hour Party People (2002) Martin Hannett
MI-5 (2002)  Riff (uncredited) (1 episode, 2004)
Tinseltown TV (2002)  Himself (1 episode, 2003)
HypaSpace (2002)  Himself (2 episodes, 2006)
Frids film (2002)  Himself (1 episode, 2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Gollum / Witch-King (voice)
Richard & Judy (2001)  Himself (1 episode, 2004)
Shiner (2000) Mel
Pandaemonium (2000) John Thelwall
Five Seconds to Spare (2000) Chester
Jump (2000) Shaun
The Jolly Boys' Last Stand (2000) Anthony 'Spider' Dale
Breakfast (2000)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2011)
Topsy-Turvy (1999) John D'Auban
Loose Women (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 2008)
Sweety Barrett (1998) Leo King
Among Giants (1998) Bob
The Jump (1998)  Steven Brunos (3 episodes, 1998)
The Screen Savers (1998)  Bit Chat Guest (1 episode, 2003)
Clueless (1998) David
Insomnia (1998) Harry
Mojo (1997) Potts
Career Girls (1997) Mr. Evans
Loop (1997) Bill
Corazón de... (1997)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
Touching Evil (1997)  Michael Lawler (2 episodes, 1999)
Stella Does Tricks (1996) Fitz
Never Mind the Buzzcocks (1996)  Himself (2 episodes, 2009)
The Near Room (1995) Bunny
Kavanagh QC (1995)  MEM O'Brien (1 episode, 1996)
E! Live from the Red Carpet (1995)  Himself (1 episode, 2016)
Royal Deceit (1994) Torsten
Pie in the Sky (1994)  Maxwell (1 episode, 1994)
Finney (1994)  Tom (6 episodes, 1994)
Grushko (1994)  Pyotr (2 episodes, 1994)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993)  Himself (2 episodes, 2004-2006)
HBO First Look (1992)  Himself / ... (2 episodes, 2006-2011)
The Darling Buds of May (1991)  Greville (1 episode, 1992)
Días de cine (1991)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
Charlie Rose (1991)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2004)
The Chief (1990)  Jacko Dolan (1 episode, 1994)
The Simpsons (1989)  Cleanie (1 episode, 2003)
Streetwise (1989)  Owen (12 episodes, 1989)
Saracen (1989)  Dudin (1 episode, 1989)
Morris Minor's Marvellous Motors (1989)  Sparky Plugg (3 episodes, 1989)
The New Statesman (1987)  Peter Moran (2 episodes, 1989)
The Bill (1984)  Alex Rackin / ... (2 episodes, 1990-1993)
The Natural World (1983)  Narrator (1 episode, 2011)
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Himself (2 episodes, 2014)
CBS News Sunday Morning (1979)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2012)
Arena (1975)  The Driver (1 episode, 2007)
Film '72 (1971)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun (0) Captain Haddock (rumored)
Untitled Third Tintin Film (0) Haddock (rumored)

Producer ( 4 credits )

Jungle Book (2018) producer
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010) executive producer
Freezing Time (0) producer
The Ritual (0) producer

Director ( 2 credits )

Jungle Book (2018)
Breathe (0)