Gary Oldman, the legendary English actor, stars with Colin Firth in the film version of the John le Carré novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In the film, Oldman plays George Smiley, an English spy taken out of retirement to investigate a potential mole in a senior role in British intelligence. For Oldman, the process of discovering and developing his character was an intricate one. “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,” remarks Oldman in the interview.

Oldman has had an incredibly successful career in Hollywood. He first rose to prominence portraying Sid Vicious in 1986’s Sid and Nancy, and has more recently appeared as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films and as James Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman reboot. Oldman has been nominated for every major award and was named by Tom Hardy, who also appears in Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy, as “the greatest actor in the history of film.”

Whether this is true or not, Oldman is undoubtedly a legend, an actor whose roles continue to challenge us. Oldman takes questions exclusively from users of Uinterview.com here.

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Q: Hi Gary, this is Ashley from Honolulu. Do you think you would be able to relate yourself to George Smiley? - User

Well, I'm quite good, I'm quite happy in my own company. I can go to my hidey-hole and shut the world off, you know. It sounds lonely, but I'm quite happy sort of being alone sometimes. I mean, you know, when I'm not around the kids, when I'm working, when I'm traveling, and that's a quality that Smiley has. They all have to have that, you know. John le Carré talked about not only the level of paranoia of being a spy, because he was one, but the bored ... the remoteness of it. And also, you're away with another identity, so you would always be fearful that your cover would be blown, you would hear the footsteps on the stairs. And there's things that have happened, there's things that I can personally relate with Smiley, of emotions and sensations. 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, but we were fortunate because we had this great piece of literature to work from.

Q: I was wondering if you'd actually seen the 1979 adaptation of 'Tinker Tailor Solider Spy,' starring Alec Guinness? - TamberleeBuxtonKing

I'm old enough to remember it, and I saw it when it first came out, so I have seen it. 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.’

Q: And if you had, if it actually influenced any aspect of your performance. If not, did you decide to take your approach from another angle, and if so, what influenced you? - TamberleeBuxtonKing

Based on, I mean the TV series was virtually the book, the entire book, because I think it was seven hours. I had the material and I had access to the writer, John le Carré, so in terms of putting together a character, I mean I had everything I needed, but the book was the holy grail.