Peter Szymon Serafinowicz
10 July 1972
Peter Szymon Serafinowicz (// SERR-ə-FIN-ə-witch; born 10 July 1972) is an English actor, comedian, director and screenwriter, best known for his roles as the title character in the 2016 live-action series of The Tick, Pete in Shaun of the Dead (2004) and The Sommelier in John Wick Chapter 2 (2017) also, as the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). He has also appeared in many British and American comedy series, and received attention for political satire videos in which he dubs over videos of Donald Trump with various comedic voices. He has also directed music videos for acts such as Hot Chip.
Peter Szymon Serafinowicz was born in Gateacre, Liverpool on 10 July 1972, the son of Roman Catholic parents, post office worker Catherine (née Geary) and scaffolder Szymon Serafinowicz. His father, who was born and raised in Surrey before moving to Liverpool, was of half Belarusian and half Polish descent.
Serafinowicz has a brother named James, who became a film producer, and a sister named Helen, who became a writer and was married to Irish comedy writer Graham Linehan from 2004 to 2021 after Serafinowicz introduced them.
At the age of three, Serafinowicz moved with his family to the Belle Vale area of Liverpool, where he attended Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School. The family moved back to Gateacre when he was 14, and he attended St Francis Xavier's College in the neighbouring Woolton suburb. He later said, "I had a very happy childhood, but Belle Vale was very rough. I was only about three when we moved there, but I can still remember it looking very shiny, and it was all landscaped. But it was a very poor area, and it became scruffy quite quickly. [...] Gateacre is traditionally seen as one of the posh areas of Liverpool. It wasn't really that much posher!"
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Serafinowicz made his broadcasting debut in 1993 on Radio 1 show The Knowledge, a spoof documentary about the music industry. From there he went on to perform in Radio 4 shows Week Ending, Harry Hill's Fruit Corner, Grievous Bodily Radio, The Two Dannys and A Whole New Ball Game.
On 1 May 1997, he appeared in The Election Night Armistice as Moz Bingham, the fictional press secretary to the then shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who verbally abuses the BBC's Nick Robinson in a spoof phone call over the politician's news coverage. In 1998 he appeared on TV in Comedy Nation and You Are Here. He also had a role in the sitcom How Do You Want Me? penned by Simon Nye.
In 1999, he had a few guest appearances in the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, playing protagonist Tim Bisley's (Simon Pegg) nemesis, Duane Benzie. He made another cameo appearance in the series when it returned in 2001.
In 2001, he took the lead in BBC Two sitcom World of Pub, playing the same character as he had done in the show's run on Radio 4. He appeared in The Junkies, an Internet sitcom. In 2002, the critically acclaimed Look Around You, a series of 10-minute 1970s school science video spoofs, debuted on BBC Two in which he played a scientist. He co-wrote the show with Robert Popper, whom he met on the set of Spaced. The show returned in 2005 as a spoof of the 1980s show Tomorrow's World, with Serafinowicz playing Peter Packard, one of the presenters.
In 2003, he appeared in another sitcom written by Nye, Hardware, in which he played the affable Kenny. He reprised this role in the second series in 2004. Also in 2004 he appeared in British romantic zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, playing Pete, the uptight flatmate of principal characters Shaun and Ed. He appeared in boxing film The Calcium Kid.
In Sixty Six, the 2006 British film about a Jewish boy whose bar mitzvah is scheduled for the same day as the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final, Serafinowicz plays Uncle Jimmy. In the week before the 2006 Academy Awards a video circulated on the Internet of a fake news item (called "O! News", a parody of E! News) about a new Oscar statue, in which Serafinowicz imitated Alan Alda, Paul McCartney and Al Pacino.
A second "O! News" video later appeared, parodying the 2006 Apple Corps v Apple Computer lawsuit. This attracted the interest of the BBC, and a pilot was commissioned for The Peter Serafinowicz Show. A full series was broadcast on BBC Two in 2007 (with a Christmas special in 2008). For his performance, Serafinowicz was presented with the Best Entertainer prize at the 2008 Rose d'Or ceremony. The series was also nominated for Best Comedy Programme at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards.
Serafinowicz made guest appearances on television, including the comedy shows Smack the Pony and Hippies (both 1999), Black Books (2000), I'm Alan Partridge (2002) and Little Britain (2003), comedy-drama Murder Most Horrid (1999), ITV drama series Agatha Christie's Marple (2006) and Parks and Recreation (2013).
He made a number of guest appearances on both television and radio panel shows. He regularly appeared on The 99p Challenge and appeared on Have I Got News for You in 2005, 2006 and 2008, 8 Out of 10 Cats in 2005, and QI in 2003. He also appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 19 October 2007, Would I Lie to You? on 8 August 2008 and 30 July 2010 and Never Mind the Buzzcocks on 15 October 2009.
In 2008, Serafinowicz was working with Robert Popper on a new television series and website, based on a spoof religion "Tarvuism" for US network Adult Swim. In 2009, he appeared in Universal Films' Couples Retreat as Sctanley, the manager of the Eden Resort, directed by Peter Billingsley.
In 2010, Serafinowicz directed the music video for Hot Chip's song "I Feel Better", their second single from the album One Life Stand. He followed this up in 2012 when he directed the music video for the band's song "Night & Day", the first single from their album In Our Heads.
In 2010, he co-starred with Will Arnett in the FOX sitcom Running Wilde, devised by Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz. It premiered on Fox on 21 September 2010, but was cancelled by the network after 13 episodes.
In June 2013, Serafinowicz provided the English language audiobook recording for the Roald Dahl novel Danny, the Champion of the World. In July 2013, he made his film directing debut with the dark comedy film I See What You Did There, which he wrote, along with Danny Wallace.
During 2016, Serafinowicz created a series of YouTube videos entitled "Sassy Trump", in which he redubed speeches given by Donald Trump with a camp voice. Those videos were deleted from his YouTube channel in 2020. He has also created parodies dubbing Trump with a Cockney accent and a posh English accent.
Due to Serafinowicz's impersonation of Paul McCartney, Matt Berry sang a duet with him on Berry's 2009 album Witchazel. The track in question was "Rain Came Down", where he was billed as "Paul Mcartney".
Serafinowicz met actress Sarah Alexander sometime around 2002, while she was in a relationship with actor Gerald Harper. She left Harper for Serafinowicz in 2002, and the two later married. They live in West London, and have a son and a daughter.
In October 2007, Serafinowicz dropped his attempt to use the Human Rights Act against the national newspapers; he had sought to prevent the publication of details revealing that his grandfather, Szymon Serafinowicz, was a member of the Belarusian Auxiliary Police who became the first man in the UK to be tried under the War Crimes Act. Szymon was charged with direct involvement in three murders and personal involvement in the destruction of the Jewish populations of Mir and Minsk, including the 1941 massacre of the Mir Ghetto which resulted in the deaths of 1,800 people, but was found unfit for trial on grounds of dementia in 1997 and died later that year at the age of 86.
|Denotes works that have not yet been released|
|1999||Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace||Darth Maul (voice)||Also provided the uncredited voices of Battle Droid commander and Gungan scout|
|2003||Hello Friend||Email Voice-Over (voice)||Short film|
|2004||Shaun of the Dead||Pete|
|The Calcium Kid||Dave King|
|2005||Ripley Under Ground||Nigel|
|2006||Sixty Six||Uncle Jimmy / Mr. Reubens Sr. / Football Commentator|
|2007||Grindhouse||Screaming Man||Fake Don't trailer|
|Run Fatboy Run||Sports Commentator|
|2008||Tales of the Riverbank||Various Characters (voice)|
|2010||The Best and the Brightest||Clark|
|The World's End||Knock-a-Door Run Home Owner||Uncredited|
|2014||SOS: Save Our Skins||Andrew (voice)|
|Food Club||Narrator (voice)||Short film|
|Pudsey the Dog: The Movie||Edward the Horse (voice)|
|Muppets Most Wanted||Gulag Guard||Uncredited|
|Guardians of the Galaxy||Denarian Garthan Saal|
|2016||Sing||Big Daddy (voice)|
|2017||John Wick: Chapter 2||The Sommelier|
|Going in Style||Murphy|
|An Ordinary Man||Miro|
|2018||Solo: A Star Wars Story||Darth Maul (voice)||Lines redubbed by Sam Witwer|
|2019||Last Christmas||Theatre Producer|
|2021||Sing 2||Big Daddy (voice)|
|The School for Good and Evil||Yuba|
|Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm||Neil, Big Neil||Voice, direct-to-video|
|The Amazing Maurice||Death||Voice|
|1996||Spitting Image||Jacques Chirac (voice)||6 episodes|
|1998||Comedy Nation||Various Characters|
|ITV Panto||Second Henchman||Episode: "Jack and the Beanstalk"|
|Europigeon||Terry Wogan (voice)||Television film|
|Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round||Narrator (voice)||6 episodes|
|1998–1999||How Do You Want Me?||Dean Yardley||9 episodes|
|1999||The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns||George Fitzpatrck||Television film|
|Murder Most Horrid||Tony Frost||Episode: "Dinner at Tiffany's"|
|Smack the Pony||2 episodes|
|Sermon from St. Albion's||Alastair Campbell||1 episode|
|Hippies||Narrator / Robin||2 episodes|
|1999–2001||Spaced||Duane Benzie||3 episodes|
|2000||Black Books||Howell Granger||Episode: "The Big Lock-Out"|
|The Junkies||Big Al / Narrator||Pilot|
|2001||World of Pub||Garry / Various Characters||6 episodes|
|2002||I'm Alan Partridge||Tex||Episode: "Never Say Alan Again"|
|15 Storeys High||2 episodes|
|What a Cartoon!||Butch (voice)||1 episode|
|2002–2005||Look Around You||Scientist / Peter Packard||Creator, writer, producer|
|2003||Little Britain||Interviewer at Prime Minister's Questions||Episode: "Biggest House of Cards"|
|2006||Agatha Christie's Marple||Walter Fane||Episode: "Sleeping Murder"|
|The IT Crowd||Newsreader / Lift / Voice-Over||3 episodes|
|2006–2015||South Park||Various Characters (voice)||Creative consultant|
|2007–2008||The Peter Serafinowicz Show||Various Characters||Creator, writer, producer|
|2009||Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle||Narrator (voice)||6 episodes|
|2010||Whitechapel||DCI Torbin Cazenove||3 episodes|
|Driver Dan's Story Train||Driver Dan (voice)||2 seasons 103 episodes|
|2010–2011||Running Wilde||Fa'ad Shaoulian||13 episodes|
|2011||This is Jinsy||Eric Dunt||Episode: "Cupboards"|
|Funny or Die Presents||Puppet (voice)||Segment: "The Terrys"|
|2011–2013||Archer||George Spelvin, Benoit, James Mason||3 episodes|
|NTSF:SD:SUV::||S.A.M. / Sagan||21 episodes|
|2012||The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret||Tito the Cycling Lawyer||1 episode|
|The Secret Policeman's Ball 2012||Paul McCartney||Special|
|Watson & Oliver||Various||2 episodes|
|Bad Sugar||Rolph Cauldwell||Pilot|
|Childrens Hospital||Michael Caine (voice)||Episode: "British Hospital"|
|American Dad!||Goran the Mutilator (voice)||Episode: "Killer Vacation"|
|2013||It's Kevin||Bill Grundy||1 episode|
|Fit||Brian Butterfield||13 episodes|
|Playhouse Presents||Roger||Episode: "Hey Diddly Dee"|
|Father Figure||Karl||Episode: "Chin Chin"|
|Anatole's Island||Narrator (voice)||Television film|
|2013–2015||Axe Cop||Various Characters (voice)||8 episodes|
|Parks and Recreation||Edgar Covington||3 episodes|
|2014||Mr. Sloane||Ross||6 episodes|
|The Britishes||Lord British||4 episodes|
|Adventure Time||Lumpy Space Prince (voice)||Episode: "The Prince Who Wanted Everything"|
|Gravity Falls||Blind Ivan (voice)||Episode: "Society of the Blind Eye"|
|2015||Moonbeam City||Nocturne von Groff (voice)||Episode: "The Strike Visualizer Strikes Again"|
|Doctor Who||Fisher King (voice)||Episode: "Before the Flood"|
|Hunt the Truth||Black Box||6 episodes|
|2015–2016||The Adventures of OG Sherlock Kush||OG Sherlock Kush (voice)||20 episodes|
|TripTank||Various Characters (voice)||5 episodes|
|2016–2019||The Tick||The Tick||Also producer|
|2017||At Home with Amy Sedaris||Turtleneck Man||Episode: "Making Love"|
|Mickey and the Roadster Racers||Agent Chauncey Chips / Dr. Waddleton Crutchley (voice)||2 episodes|
|People of Earth||Eric the Cube (voice)||8 episodes|
|Rick and Morty||Agency Director Pavel Bartek (voice)||Episode: "Pickle Rick"|
|Neo Yokio||Various Characters (voice)||6 episodes|
|2018||The Simpsons||Corporate CEO (voice)||Episode: "Krusty the Clown"|
|2019||Bob's Burgers||Scottjohn Dansteve (voice)||Episode: "Bed, Bob & Beyond"|
|His Dark Materials||Iofur Raknison (voice)||2 episodes|
|2020||Miracle Workers||King Cragnoor|
|Sassy Justice||Fred Sassy (voice)|
|2001||Z: Steel Soldiers||Lassar||Voice|
|2003||Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior||Space Marine Captain Ardius|
|2013||Lego City Undercover||Forrest Blackwell / Cornelius Burns / Jethro Hayes|
|2014||Dark Souls II||Mild-Mannered Pate|
|LittleBigPlanet 3||Dr. Maxim / El Jeff / Papal Mâché|
|2016||Deus Ex: Mankind Divided||MacReady|
|Lego Dimensions||Cornelius Burns / Forrest Blackwell / Jethro Hayes||Voice|
|Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2||Kang the Conqueror|
- "In Conversation with Peter Serafinowicz at St. Georges Hall". SevenStreets. 17 March 2011. Archived from the original on 29 September 2020.
- Raphael, Amy (14 October 2007). "A comedy giant in the making". The Observer.
- Philby, Charlotte (30 August 2008). "My Secret Life: Peter Serafinowicz, Actor and comedian, age 36". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- "BBC star's grandfather faced Nazi war crimes trial". Evening Standard. London, UK. 20 October 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- Molony, Julia (20 November 2017). "The mother of all comedies". Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- Jones, Catherine (25 March 2011). "Peter Serafinowicz on his Liverpool childhood and how he'd like to play all four Beatles in an animation". Liverpool Echo.
- "Exclusive Interview – Peter Serafinowicz". HeyUGuys.com. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- "Rose d'Or Winners 2008" (PDF). Rose d'Or AG. 6 May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
- "Television Awards Nominations in 2009". BAFTA. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Say 'Hebbo' to Tarvuism!". Chortle. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- Andreeva, Nellie (11 July 2010). "Peter Serafinowicz Joins 'Running Wilde'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
- "Danny, the Champion of the World". Penguin Books. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- Anderton, Ethan (15 July 2013). "Peter Serafinowicz Moves to Directing with 'I See What You Did There'". Firstshowing.net. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- White, James (16 July 2013). "Peter Serafinowicz Directing I See What You Did There". Empire Online. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- Brown, Brigid (5 September 2014). "BBC Radio Brings Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens to Life". BBC America. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- McEwan, Cameron K. (26 September 2015). "Peter Serafinowicz joins Doctor Who – more Star Wars actors who have done the same". Metro. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- Flint, Hanna (14 August 2016). "Sassy Trump is the internet's favourite version of Donald". Metro. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- "Peter Serafinowicz has dubbed a Donald Trump speech with a cockney accent and it's hilarious". The Poke. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Berry, Matt (2011). Witchazel (Liner notes). UK: Acid Jazz Records. AJXCD251.
- Goldman, Eric (18 August 2016). "The Tick: 'Pilot' Review". IGN. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- Scott, Peter (6 August 2002). "New Man For Coupling Star". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 31 May 2020 – via The Free Library.
- "Mutual Friends: Sarah Alexander plays Liz". BBC Press Office (Press release). 13 August 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- Luckhurst, Tim (2 September 2001). "Why won't Britain jail this war criminal?". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- Collider Podcasts (1 April 2019). "Peter Serafinowicz Tells the Story of How He Was Cut Out as Darth Maul in Solo". Archived from the original on 14 April 2020 – via YouTube.