Andy Serkis' Hollywood career was an accident

Actor and filmmaker Andy Serkis initially intended to become a graphic designer.

Andy Serkis never anticipated he would ever pursue an acting career.

The English star has one of the most varied careers in Hollywood, starting out as a TV actor before winning critical acclaim for his motion capture work in films such as Lord of the Rings and the latest Planet of the Apes movies.

He's now added director to his resume, with his feature debut Breathe a runaway success, but he didn't originally plan on becoming a performer.

"Truth be told, before I became an actor, I studied visual arts at college, and by accident almost became an actor," he told Cover Media. "You had to do another subject in your first year at college and so I didn't have anything else I was particularly interested in apart from painting and graphic design, so I chose theatre studies because it was quite an interesting course."

Breathe tells the true story of how polio sufferer Robin Cavendish, as portrayed by Andrew Garfield, with the help of his family and friends, pioneered new technology for people with the viral infection to help them lead better and more comfortable lives. Co-starring Claire Foy and Hugh Bonneville, the film is generating awards buzz for both the powerhouse performances and Andy's direction.

Andy worked with his business partner, producer Jonathan Cavendish, Robin's son, on the project.

"I came on board when I read Bill's (Nicholson) script, and it was, without doubt, one of the most emotional scripts I've ever read," Andy recalled. "I came in the next day and said to Jonathan, 'I know this is a bit out of my wheelhouse and I'm used to directing orcs and dwarves and animals of the jungle and becoming various different creatures, but I'd like to direct your parents' story. What do you think? And he said absolutely let's do it."

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