Andy Serkis beats Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne to best actor prize at Empire Awards

The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star was joined by Karen Gillan, Game of Thrones, Ralph Fiennes and Interstellar on the winners list

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Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne may have been the talk of the 2015 awards season but it was Andy Serkis who bagged the prize for best actor at last night’s Jameson Empire Awards. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes actor – known for his work playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings franchise – also saw off competition from Richard Armitage (The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies) and Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) as he was honoured for his work portraying chimpanzee Caesar in the sci-fi hit. 

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Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike skipped the ceremony but was named best actress, beating the likes of Felicity Jones and Keira Knightley, meanwhile Christopher Nolan picked up best director for his futuristic blockbuster Interstellar, as well as the Empire Inspiration Award which has previously gone to the likes of Serkis, Sam Mendes and Kenneth Branagh. 

Interstellar was also named best film, while best British film went to Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. The spy flick’s young star Taron Egerton was awarded best male newcomer with former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan handed best female newcomer for her work on Guardians of the Galaxy and Oculus. 

Best sci-fi/fantasy went to X-Men: Days of Future Past, best horror was The Babadook, Paddington was named best comedy and best thriller was awarded to The Imitation Game. 

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The ceremony – hosted by James Nesbitt and attended by Daniel Radcliffe, Peter Capaldi, Henry Cavill and more – saw the Empire Hero Award presented to the cast of Game of Thrones, the first time an Empire Award has gone to a TV series, while the previously-announced Empire Legend Award saw Ralph Fiennes honoured, presented with his gong by Liam Neeson.