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Andy Serkis - Winner's Acceptance Speech, Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, EE British Academy Film Awards in 2020

2 February 2020

Winner's acceptance speech by Andy Serkis in the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema category

ANDY SERKIS:  Oh my God.  Oh my God.  Thank you.

Thank you.  Thank you, Ian.  Thank you so much.  Thank you, BAFTA.  Thank you for this incredible honour.  Thank you all for standing up.  That's just blown my mind.

I was asked to keep this speech to 90 seconds, which is totally fine by me, except how do you thank a gazillion people that you have worked with over a number of decades in 90 -- well, now 80 seconds.  It's completely impossible.

So I'm going to start with the most important partnership in my life, so that if I run out of time at the end, I've got this one in the bag.  My significant other -- more than significant other, my lover, my touchstone, my favourite actor on the planet, my department of ways and means, Lorraine.  I love you.

My three children, Ruby, Sonny and Louis.  Thank you so much for allowing me to gallivant around the world wearing grey spandex suits and not disowning me.  Thank you for that.  

Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, thank you for introducing me to the aforesaid grey spandex suit, and spending many happy years -- with Ian -- and creating characters in your wonderful movies.  

Thank you to Joe Letteri and all of Weta Digital, wizards of Weta, and all of my extended family in New Zealand.

My dear fellow and co-founder of the Imaginarium, Jonathan Cavendish, and all of the talented imagineers.  Matt Brown and all of the capture aces at Imaginarium Studios.  

Huge thanks to my incredible management team.  The great Larry Taube, Jerry Schmitz, Hylda Queally, John Garvey, Franklin Latt and all at CAA.  Thank you very much.  You are the best, you really are.  

My ape family, Dylan Clarke, Matt Reeves, Rupert Wyatt, Terry Notary and Michael Giacchino, to mention but a few.  Paul Viragh, Mat Whitecross, Damian Jones -- oi oi for all the sex and drugs and rock and roll, and the movie as well, and the legendary Bob Richardson, who I am now working with, for being such a great compadre on all our collaborations.  

I just want to say briefly something about performance capture.  I truly believe that it's an egalitarian form of acting.  It's one of the great tools for actors and filmmakers for the 21st century, for storytelling in the 21st century, because it signifies the end of type casting; anyone can play anything.  It never used to be accepted as standard industry practice, but it is now.  So a monumental thank you to all of the innovators, to the coders, the animators, the CG artists, the visual effects companies, the actors who continue to develop it.

And I just want to say a quick thank you to all of the people who were there at the beginning of my career.  Keith Sturgess and Margaret Eddishaw, my amazing tutors who nurtured my desire to create theatre.  Jonathan Petherbridge, who truly defined my purpose as a young actor, and Lou Coulson for all the many years of wonderful guidance and friendship.

Finally, I want to say much love and thanks to my siblings, Carol, Cath, Anita and Paul, who have always been so unbelievably supportive, despite the fact that I never return any calls.

Finally, my parents, Lylie and Clem, both of whom slipped away while I was filming on the other side of the world and never got to say goodbye, but I'm sure, pretty certain, that if they were watching now, they would be as over the moon as I am.  Thank you very much indeed, all of you.