In 1985, he joined the Nuffield Studio, practicing in design and play production.
He played the lead role in Barrie Keeffe's play Gotcha. From there, he studied Konstantin Stanislavski and Bertolt Brecht. In 1989, Serkis landed his first television role on the comedy series, The New Statesman. He appeared in two episodes.
He might be best known for his animation and voice work in the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and the first two Star Wars sequel trilogy films.