Star Traveler: Andy Serkis' London

British actor Andy Serkis, currently in "Planet of the Apes," talks about his hometown of London


British actor Andy Serkis, most famous for his role as Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" series and most recently as Caesar in the "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," has a demanding career that has him filming in all corners of the world. But the Golden Globe-winning actor has a London calling and spoke to Travel about what to do in his hometown.

What lures you to London?

I love the architecture. It's such an eclectic mix of Georgian, Regency and Edwardian architecture. Then there's the great modern architecture in the center of town. You've got the Tate Modern building and all the buildings in the city of London. I love the Thames in the south bank where you've got all art centers. The Globe, Shakespeare's theater, and then the National Theater and the National Film Theater. It's a really vibrant exciting place to be.

Speaking of theater, London has a celebrated art scene. Any must-sees?

Shaftesbury avenue there's all the west end theaters, and then the Royal Court Theater is really great for new writing and then all the art galleries. You got the Tate Modern, the Tate Britain, which is all the old, impressionist paintings up to the middle of the 20th century.

Ideal London itinerary?

If you've got a couple of days in London, really the south bank you should head to first because it's really alive. There's also Covent Garden which is a really old market square where there's loads going on, there's a lot of street entertainers. There's just great shops and stuff.

On the subject of shopping, where do you go?

Shopping, Covent Garden is really fantastic, great boutique shops. Also, just off Carnaby Street are really interesting, great clothes shops there. You've got the great classic shops like Harrods and Fort and Mason.

Any hotels that get your stamp of approval?

The Soho Hotel, that's where I hang out a lot of the time. It's a hotel which is in Soho, between Dean Street and Wardour Street. It's quite film industry, kind of media, but they're really swanky and kind of funky. There are great suites and a really nice place to hang out in the back which is quite cool.

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