BAFTA to Honor Andy Serkis at Film Awards

Andy Serkis - Getty - H 2019
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

The man behind Gollum, Caesar and supreme leader Snoke is to receive the outstanding British contribution to cinema award.

Andy Serkis — the man behind a swathe of iconic cinematic characters — is be honored at this year's BAFTA film awards ceremony. 

The actor, producer, director and founder of motion capture pioneers The Imaginarium is set to receive the outstanding British contribution to cinema award, one of the British Academy's top honors, at the event on Feb. 2.

Through the creation of such characters as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit series, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes trilogy, the titular gorilla in 2005’s King Kong, and as supreme leader Snoke in the recent Star Wars trilogy, Serkis has, according to BAFTA, both pioneered the evolving art of performance capture and widened the parameters of what it means to be an actor in the 21st century.

"I’m deeply honored and thrilled to receive this award, and count myself extremely lucky to be on such a continually fascinating journey in visual storytelling, one that has given me the opportunity to collaborate with many of the world’s greatest artists, technologists and craftspeople, with whom I’d like to share this wonderful accolade," said Serkis.

In 2011, Serkis, together with producer Jonathan Cavendish, founded The Imaginarium, a production company and digital studio dedicated to believable and emotionally engaging digital characters using performance capture technology for films and games. Since then, he has consulted on motion capture on a number of films including the 2014 version of Godzilla and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which he also plays the villain Ulysses Klaue in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther, the latter of which he won a Screen Actors Guild award for best performance in a cast in a motion picture.

Serkis has been BAFTA-nominated twice, for playing Ian Dury in Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, and for playing Ian Brady on television in Longford. His other film roles include Career Girls, Topsy-Turvy, The Escapist, Deathwatch, 24 Hour Party People, 13 Going on 30, Stormbreaker, The Prestige, Flushed Away, The Cottage, Inkheart, Brighton Rock, Burke and Hare, Wild Bill and The Adventures of Tintin.

He made his directorial debut with Breathe in 2017, and has since directed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, based on the Jungle Book. He is currently directing Venom 2, starring Tom Hardy.

The outstanding British contribution to cinema award, presented annually in honor of Brit producer Michael Balcon, has previously been awarded to Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, co-founders of Number 9 Films, Ridley and Tony Scott, Film4 Productions, Working Title Films, Angela Allen, the Harry Potter series of films, John Hurt, Tessa Ross, Peter Greenaway, BBC Films, Angels Costumes, Curzon and The National Film and Television School.