Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis

Infobox actor

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caption = Serkis in Wellington, 2003
birthdate = Birth date and age|1964|4|20|df=yes
birthplace = Ruislip, Middlesex, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
birthname =
homepage =
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spouse = Lorraine Ashbourne (22 July, 2002 – present)

Andy Serkis (born 20 April, 1964) is an English actor, director and author.

Early life

Serkis was born and brought up in Ruislip Manor, Middlesex. His father is an ethnic Armenian doctor from Iraq;Fact|date=September 2008 the family surname was originally "Sarkisian",Fact|date=September 2008 which is a variant of one of the most common Armenian surnames. He was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing and at Lancaster University where he originally studied visual art, and was a member of The County College.


Serkis' most critically acclaimed roles have been Gollum, or Smeagol, in "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy (2001–03) and the title character in the 2005 version of "King Kong", in which he provided the voice and movements for the CGI characters. Also in Peter's Jackson's King Kong, Andy Serkis played the ship's cook. His performance is ranked #10 on "Premiere"'s "100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time".

in aforementioned film, although he is not credited.

Continuing the development of Performance capture as an art form, 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 over 30 other roles in film and television productions throughout his career. One of his earliest feature film appearances was alongside Sacha Baron Cohen in "The Jolly Boys' Last Stand".

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. [ [] Dead link|date=July 2008] The mother of Keith Bennett, whose body has never been found, publicly criticized Serkis for requesting a meeting with Brady in preparation for the role.

In 2006 Serkis appeared in the role of Mr. Grin in the film rendition of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider novel "Stormbreaker". Also in 2006, he appeared in the film version of "The Prestige" as Mr. Alley, assistant to Nikola Tesla, and as the voice of Spike, one of the henchrats in the latest Aardman Animations film "Flushed Away".

In 2006 Serkis appeared in Jim Threapleton's entirely improvised feature film debut, "Extraordinary Rendition". In the film he plays an interrogator working inside the CIA's controversial Extraordinary Rendition program. The film was premiered at festivals in summer 2007.

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

Serkis has played the villain Capricorn in "Inkheart", based on the novel of the same name by Cornelia Funke. The film also stars Brendan Fraser, Helen Mirren and Paul Bettany. Directed by Iain Softley, it is due for release in 2008.

Serkis stars in "The Cottage", about two brothers who kidnap an underworld figure and then stumble on a dark rural secret. It was directed by Paul Andrew Williams and co-stars Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison and Steve O'Donnell.

Serkis will be appearing in "Einstein and Eddington", a joint venture between HBO and BBC. He plays Albert Einstein. The film follows Einstein's development of his theory of relativity, and also show how British scientist Sir Arthur Eddington became the first person to understand the scientist's work. Eddington will be played by "Doctor Who" star David Tennant, who previously starred with Serkis in the stage version of the play "Hurlyburly" at the Queens Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in 1997.

In 2007, Serkis provided the voice over for "Monkey Business", 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, England.

Serkis has also provided voiceovers to a series of advertisements for Vodafone and NatWest Bank on British television.

In December 2007, it was confirmed that Serkis will reunite with Peter Jackson as a cast member in Jackson and Steven Spielberg's "Tintin" trilogy. He is set to start filming work on the project in September 2008. [ [ Andy Serkis interview: Robert Rankin, The Hobbit, Tintin & more! - Den of Geek ] ]

Personal life

Serkis lives in Crouch End, North London with his wife, actress Lorraine Ashbourne, and their three young children: Ruby (b. 1998), Sonny (b. 2000) and Louis (b. 2004). [ [ Andy Serkis ] ]

A vegetarian, Serkis only 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.

Serkis is an atheist. ["Serkis has been an atheist since his teens but feels spiritual when he's up a mountain (he once climbed the Matterhorn solo) and is much drawn to the karmic possibilities of energy transference. 'Not in a woo-ey way,' he smiles, 'but the idea that your energy lives on after you I find very relieving.'" Catherine Shoard, "Beastie Boy: You can take Andy Serkis out of the animal gear, but you can't take the animal out of Andy Serkis," "The Sunday Telegraph" 16 March 2008, Section 7, pg.22.]

Awards and nominations


*Golden Globe 2008 Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini Series or Motion Picture Made for Television - "Longford".


Other works

* In "Heavenly Sword", a Playstation 3 title released in 2007, he stars as King Bohan, voicing him and providing a basis for his in-game face. He also acted as the dramatic director on the project.

* His book "" (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".

External links

* [ Official homepage]
* [ My Preciousss - Andy Serkis Yahoo Group]
* [ Andy Serkis Interview]
* [ Extraordinary Rendition blog]
* [ Official Sugarhouse Lane website]
* [ The Jolly Boys Last Stand]


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