Andy Serkis: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

Five roles to rule them all and five which weren't so precious.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in the UK this weekend, following critical acclaim and a hugely successful opening weekend in the US. Picking up ten years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this instalment finds the last vestiges of humanity sheltering in a tower in San Francisco. These humans are genetically immune to the virus that wiped out the rest of the world's population. After one of their number encounters a community of apes and shoots one in panic, the apes march on the city with an ultimatum: stay out of ape territory, or face an all-out war. This film sees Andy Serkis reprising his role as Caesar from the first film, and his performances in both efforts have been met with universal acclaim. It comes during a rich vein of form in Serkis' career, which began with his now-iconic performance as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. As special effects and motion capture have advanced, Serkis has moved with them, lending his voice and physicality to the likes of Kong and Captain Haddock. In addition, he was a consultant on Godzilla, has been directing the second unit on Peter Jackson's ongoing Hobbit trilogy, and is slated to direct live-action adaptations of Animal Farm and The Jungle Book. All of which raises the question: is there anything that he can't do? But while he's turned in many fine performances over the years - some of them not involving motion capture - there are still some dark corners of Serkis' career which he's less proud of or which don't use his talents quite so wisely. Today we're taking you through both sides of Serkis' filmography, drawing out five roles to rule them all and five times which weren't so precious. We begin with a musical offering from Mike Leigh...

Freelance copywriter, film buff, community radio presenter. Former host of The Movie Hour podcast ( and click 'Interviews'), currently presenting on Phonic FM in Exeter ( Other loves include theatre, music and test cricket.