Gary Oldman Bio: In His Own Words – Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Gary Leonard Oldman (born 21 March 1958, age: 59) is an English film and stage actor known for being versatile.
Among his most noted roles are those in The Dark Knight trilogy (2005-2012) and in the Harry Potter franchise.
Oldman has also starred in major films like True Romance (1993), The Fifth Element (1997), Air Force One (1997), The Contender (2000), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and Darkest Hour (2017).
Gary Oldman Bio: Age, Early Life
Oldman was born in London to Leonard Bertram Oldman, a former sailor who was also a welder, and Kathleen.
He has revealed his father Leonard was an alcoholic who abandoned the family when Oldman was just seven years old. Oldman attended West Greenwich School in Deptford but left when he was 16 to work in a sports shop.
As a child, Oldman was pianist and then a singer, although he decided to become an actor after seeing Malcolm McDowell’s performance in the 1971 film The Raging Moon.
“Something about Malcolm just arrested me, and I connected, and I said, ‘I wanna do that,'” said Oldman in an interview with Charlie Rose in 1995.
As a resident of south London, Oldman was a fan of his local soccer club Millwall, but also followed Manchester United, in part because his idol was winger George Best.
Gary Oldman Bio: Early Theater And Film Work
Oldman started studying with the Young People’s Theatre in Greenwich, England during the mid-1970s while working jobs on assembly lines, as a porter, and selling shoes.
After a few setbacks, including a rejected application to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Oldman won a scholarship to enroll in the Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, Southeast London, from which he graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting. There, he played Puck in a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream among other roles.
Oldman made his professional stage debut in 1979, when he played Puss in Dick Whittington and His Cat at York’s Theatre Royal.
He then starred in the play Saved, which proved to be a major breakthrough for him.
Oldman also acted in The Pope’s Wedding in 1984, a production that led director Alex Cox to offer him the role of rocker Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols in the 1986 biopic Sid and Nancy. Although Oldman eventually starred in the film, he turned down the part twice before accepting it because, as he stated: “I wasn’t really that interested in Sid Vicious and the punk movement. I’d never followed it. The script I felt was banal and ‘who cares’ and ‘why bother’ and all of that. And I was a little bit sort-of with my nose in the air and sort of thinking ‘well the theatre – so much more superior’ and all of that.”
In 1986, Oldman landed his third starring film role in Prick Up Your Ears, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in 1988.
In 1988, he appeared opposite Alan Bates, whom he had admired for several years, in We Think the World of You, and alongside Dennis Hopper and Frances McDormand in the 1989 drama Chattahoochee.
Oldman also played soccer hooligan Clive “Bex” Bissel in the 1989 British drama The Firm, and was praised for his performance.
In 1990, Oldman starred alongside Tim Roth in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard’s film adaptation of his own eponymous play. That same year, he starred alongside Sean Penn and Ed Harris in State of Grace, his first majorly famous American movie for which he also received stellar performance reviews. Oldman was also offered the lead of 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, but rejected it.
Gary Oldman Bio: Mainstream Success (1991-2001)
In 1991, Oldman appeared in his first big-box-office American movie, playing Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone’s JFK. Oldman reportedly met Oswald’s wife Marina and her two daughters in preparation for the role.
The following year, he played Count Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola’s romance-horror Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In 1993, Oldman played a villainous pimp with dreadlocks in Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino’s crime comedy-drama film True Romance, and received mostly positive reviews for his performance in the movie.
Among the other villains Oldman would go on to play were characters from the films Murder in the First (1995), The Fifth Element (1997) and Lost in Space (1998).
Oldman also played a Russian terrorist in Air Force One (1997) and a corrupt DEA officer in 1994’s Léon: The Professional, a villain that was also named by some publications as one of the most unforgettable bad guys in film history.
In 2000, Oldman starred opposite Jeff Bridges as a Republican congressman in The Contender, a film Oldman also co-produced.
Oldman played Pontius Pilate in Jesus (1999), and also guest-starred in two Friends episodes in May 2001, playing the role of an actor. He received an Emmy Award nomination for his appearances. He also starred in the 2001 film Hannibal alongside Anthony Hopkins. Oldman played one of the serial killer’s victims.
Oldman didn’t work again until 2004, and he was believed to have been blacklisted in Hollywood because of a controversy that arose around the year 2000, while he was making The Contender. Oldman reportedly said that he was unhappy with the fact that DreamWorks had edited the film in a way that gave off the impression that it was trying to show more liberal political opinions and leanings generally speaking.
Oldman also reportedly slammed what he viewed as too much political correctness in American media and called out Hollywood for its hypocrisy with regards to this issue in a 2014 interview while he was promoting Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He even expressed support for celebrities who had previously become embroiled in controversies of their own.
Gary Oldman Bio: Return To Acting And Franchise Work (2004-Present)
In 2004, played Harry Potter’s godfather Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He reprised the role in the fourth, fifth and seventh Harry Potter films.
Oldman also starred in another major film franchise in the late 2000s: The Dark Night trilogy, in which he played Detective (and then police commissioner) Jim Gordon. The trilogy consists of Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Oldman also starred in the 2009 supernatural thriller The Unborn, the 2010 post-apocalyptic neo-Western The Book of Eli (opposite Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis) and the 2011 romance horror film Red Riding Hood, a gritty adaptation of the popular fairytale Little Red Riding Hood.
In 2011, Oldman starred in the espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, an adaptation of John le Carre’s novel of the same name. Oldman received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance as Cold War-era British spy George Smiley, as well as a BAFTA nomination.
Oldman then went on to star in the 2012 crime drama Lawless, the 2013 thriller Paranoia (which also starred Harrison Ford, Amber Heard and Liam Hemsworth). In 2014, Oldman starred opposite Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson in the remake of RoboCop, as Norton, the scientist who creates RoboCop.
Oldman also starred in 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
More recently, Oldman played a chief of police in the 2015 drama film Child 44 and the war thriller film Man Down that same year, a movie that co-starred Shia Labeouf and Kate Mara.
In 2016, Oldman portrayed a CIA head in the action thriller Criminal, which co-starred Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Eve, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot.
In 2017, he starred in the romantic sci-fi film The Space Between Us and as a villain in The Hitman’s Bodyguard alongside Reynolds, Jackson and Salma Hayek.
His third film of 2017 was the Joe Wright-directed historical drama Darkest Hour, in which he played Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Oldman won his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama for his performance in 2018, and also won the SAG and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor.
Oldman’s Golden Globe victory — which came on his first nomination — may have come as a surprise to film critics, as the actor has previously criticized the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the group responsible for voting on the Awards. Oldman also won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, his first ever Oscar.
In 2009, Oldman revealed that he once argued with the HFPA at a press conference, during which he slammed the Golden Globes for being a commercial television ratings machine, rather than a genuine ceremony to praise art. He even went as far as to call the awards “meaningless,” called for a boycott and said other awards ceremonies like the Oscars and BAFTAs were much more credible in terms of their voting processes.
Oldman will next star in the action thriller Hunter Killer, alongside Gerard Butler, Billy Bob Thornton, and Linda Cardellini, and is slated to direct a biopic about Eadweard Muybridge entitled Flying Horse.
Among his other upcoming projects are the horror-thriller Mary directed by Michael Goi and Netflix’s sci-fi project titled Tau directed by Federico D’Alessandro alongside Ed Skrein and Maika Monroe.
Gary Oldman Interview: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
In 2011, Oldman sat down with uinterview to answer fan questions about the thriller that landed him his first Oscar nomination for playing Cold War-era British spy George Smiley.
The film, which also stars Colin Firth and Tom Hardy, is about an English spy (Smiley) taken out of retirement to investigate a potential mole within British intelligence. It is based on John Le Carre’s novel of the same name.
“You know, you draw on really what you can, you use a bit of your own life, and a bit of the book, and I met with John le Carré, and you use a little of him. You piece it together like a jigsaw. Actually it’s like a Rubik’s cube, you want to get all the sides lined up,” Oldman told uInterview exclusively.
Oldman also said he had seen the 1979 version of the film, which starred Alec Guinness.
“I’m old enough to remember it, and I saw it when it first came out, so I have seen it,” he said. “But I didn’t revisit it, and I haven’t watched it recently. I probably think I remember it better than I do, but it was quite something in its day, when it came out. It was the real beginning of long-form TV, the BBC, they did ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,’ ‘I Claudius’ and ‘Brideshead Revisited.’”
Gary Oldman 2018: Marriages, Alocholism, Social Media, Net Worth, Quotes
Oldman has been married to five different women. He married English actress Lesley Manville in 1987 but the pair separated in 1989, three months after the birth of their son Alfie. He met Uma Thurman while working on State of Grace, and they got married in 1990, but the marriage lasted only two years. Oldman then married Donya Fiorentino from 1997 to 2001 and gave birth to two sons with her.
In December 2008, Oldman married English actress and singer Alexandra Edenborough in California. They divorced shortly after January 2015.
In September 2017, Oldman married art curator and writer Gisele Schmidt in a low-key ceremony.
Oldman has two grandchildren through his oldest son.
Oldman is not active on social media. Among his famous friends have been late musician David Bowie, guitarist Slash and his Harry Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe.
Oldman was known to have alcoholism issues in the 1990s, and even checked himself into rehab during that time. He is a self-described libertarian.
His net worth is estimated at $40 million.