Luther: The Fallen Sun's Jamie Payne and Neil Cross Praise Working With Andy Serkis (Exclusive)

Luther: The Fallen Sun continues where the Idris Elba-led BBC program left off, but brings enough uniqueness to allow it to stand on its own. Much of that is thanks to the largely rookie supporting cast, as several accomplished actors joined the Luther world for the first time in this sequel film. Among those newcomers is Andy Serkis. The decorated actor and director fulfills the villainous role of David Robey in The Fallen Sun, but his contributions to the film stretch far beyond his on-screen performance.

Speaking to at the Luther: The Fallen Sun premiere, Luther creator Neil Cross noted that Serkis brought his filmmaking expertise to the set but was always respectful of director Jamie Payne's vision.

"Andy Serkis is the nicest and most clever man I think I've ever worked with. He's the most extraordinary thing," Cross said. "His expertise is underwritten by a kind of humility. He had a very good, very close working relationship with Jamie Payne, our director, but was always respectful of Jamie's role as director. It's very collaborative, but there was no attempt to kind of change streams."

Payne himself had praise for Serkis as well, calling the Middlesex native an "extraordinary collaborator."

"He is such an extraordinary collaborator and a wonderful human being, and he's fearless," Payne said. "When you have an actor with his ability that's as fearless as he is, that's as much of a collaborator as he is, it's like the perfect storm."

Applauded off-screen collaborations aside, Payne specifically gave Serkis his flowers for his task at hand: meeting the gold standard of Luther's antagonists.

"Luther is only as good as its villains, and David Robey is one of the most wicked creations that Neil Cross has ever come up with," Payne continued. "We needed an actor that fully embodied it, without apology. And Andy Serkis, boy does he own it."

David Robey is just the latest in Serkis's growing rogues' gallery of roles. While he is known to portray heroes like Caesar in Planet of the Apes and Alfred Pennyworth in The Batman, he has played a large list of villains in recent years. Serkis notably headed up The First Order as Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars and starred opposite Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa as Ulysses Klaue in 2018's Black Panther.

Luther: The Fallen Sun is now streaming on Netflix.