Andy Serkis to receive top Bafta honour for 'revolutionary' contribution to cinema

Tobi Akingbade
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Andy Serkis will be honoured with the outstanding contribution to cinema award at the British Academy film awards.

The actor, producer, director and founder of The Imaginarium Studios, who is hailed by Bafta as “nothing short of revolutionary”, will receive the accolade at the ceremony in London on February 2.

Lord Of The Rings star Serkis, 55, said: “I’m deeply honoured 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.”

The accolade is one of Bafta’s highest honours, and he follows previous recipients including Sir Ridley and Tony Scott, Sir John Hurt, Mike Leigh, Tessa Ross, Peter Greenaway, BBC Films, Angels Costumes and Curzon, the cinema chain.

Andy Serkis as Gollum (New Line Cinema)
Andy Serkis as Gollum (New Line Cinema)

Marc Samuelson, chair of Bafta’s film committee, said: “Andy’s work on and off-screen has been nothing short of revolutionary, inspiring audiences and his peers alike.

“His pioneering influence as a performer, an educator, a leading innovator and an employer has helped shape the global film industry and the positive impact will be felt for years to come.

“He’s a truly remarkable ambassador for our industry and a thoroughly deserving recipient of this year’s outstanding achievement award.”

Considered a leading actor in performance capture, Serkis has long been loved by audiences for his creation of characters such as Gollum in the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit series, for playing Caesar in the Planet Of The Apes trilogy, the titular gorilla in King Kong and Supreme Leader Snoke in the recent Star Wars film trilogy.

Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke in the recent Star Wars trilogy (Disney )
Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke in the recent Star Wars trilogy (Disney )

The London-born star, who studied visual arts at Lancaster University, has been integral to the development in performance capture technology, bringing to life characters for film-lovers like never before.

In 2011, he and film producer John Cavendish founded The Imaginarium, a production company and digital studio dedicated to creating believable and emotionally engaging digital characters using performance capture technology.

Serkis has also acted in live action roles and directed Breathe in 2017 (Getty Images)
Serkis has also acted in live action roles and directed Breathe in 2017 (Getty Images)

Serkis has also consulted on motion capture on films such as the 2014 Godzilla film and for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

His other acting work includes roles in Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll and in TV film Longford, both of which saw him nominated for Baftas, as well as roles in Marvel films Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Black Panther, Brighton Rock, 13 Going On 30, The Escapist and Wild Bill.

Serkis made his directorial debut in 2017 with the film Breathe, and he has also directed Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle, based on the Jungle Book.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

Read more

Bafta nominee Kaitlyn Dever wants roles 'more often given to men'

Jack Lowden: I may be a Bafta nominee but I'm never recognised

The biggest snubs and surprises from the Bafta 2020 nominations