Before he became the motion-capture king behind King Kong, Gollum and Caesar the ape, Andy Serkis was an Emmy- and BAFTA-nominated character actor. Here's some of his best non-digital work.
Smeagol, 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' (2003)
Serkis's performance as Gollum is so impressive, it's easy to forget he briefly appears as the rather Hobbit-like Sméagol before the Ring gave him "unnatural long life.” As Sméagol he goes in an instant from a fairly amiable fisherman (although the way he baits that worm is a bit off) to a murderer when his cousin finds the Ring while fishing.
Mr. Alley, 'The Prestige' (2006
Serkis unveils a flawless American accent (and a wink of mischief) as Nikola Tesla (David Bowie)'s assistant in Christopher Nolan's grim drama about rival magicians.
Lumpy, 'King Kong' (2005)
Not only did Serkis perform the part of Kong in Peter Jackson's epic, he also played doomed cook Lumpy, who is attacked and eaten by giant worms. Would have been smarter if he hadn't wasted all his ammo on harmless (but giant) insects.
William Hare, 'Burke & Hare' (2010)
If anyone can make grave-robbing and trading in corpses funny, it's Serkis, Simon Pegg and John Landis.
Richard Kneeland, '13 Going on 30' (2004)
When Jenna (Jennifer Garner) busts out with "Thriller," everyone is reluctant to join in. But soon, even her too-cool boss (Serkis) is on the dance floor. And who's the only one moonwalking? That's right, Andy Serkis.
John D'Auban, 'Topsy-Turvy' (1999)
Serkis steals the show as the disapproving choreographer of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, "The Mikado." He takes issue with all of Gilbert (Jim Broadbent)'s directions to the cast, muttering. "I haven't laughed so much since my tights caught fire in 'Harlequin Meets Itchity Witch and the Snitch.’”
Colleoni, 'Brighton Rock' (2010)
Serkis is a smooth, well-connected gangster facing off with a teenage upstart (Sam Riley) in this adaptation of the Graham Greene novel.
Capricorn, 'Inkheart' (2008)
If you're a British character actor, you're going to play more than your share of villains, including this heartless, rather campy bad guy who just loves duct tape.
Martin Hannett, '24 Hour Party People' (2002)
In this look back at the Manchester music scene that gave rise to bands like Joy Division, Serkis is the world's most demanding sound engineer. He demands that the band's drummer play "faster, but slower." He's not satisfied until the drum kit is rebuilt ... on the roof of the studio.
Bill Sikes, 'Oliver Twist' (1999)
Taking on one of literature's most notorious villains, Serkis steps into the nefarious character's shoes with visible delight.
Ulysses Klaue, 'Black Panther' (2018)
He first appeared in "Age of Ultron," but this one-armed South African mercenary is one of the highlights of "Black Panther." Whether gleefully spilling all the tea about Wakanda or shooting up a casino, he's having the time of his rotten life.
Rigaud, 'Little Dorrit' (2008)
Serkis received an Emmy nomination for his role as a Dickensian murderer with a multitude of aliases.
Ian Dury, 'Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll' (2010)
In his first lead role, Serkis earned Best Actor nominations from BAFTA and the British Independent Film Awards for his audacious portrayal of the British punk/new wave musician. He even did his own vocals!