A man of many faces

Sakal Times
Friday, 15 March 2019

While Gary Oldman won the Oscar for Best Actor this year, he has delighted audiences with many iconic roles throughout the years

From theatre to films, music videos to lending his voice to a video game, Gary Oldman has done it all. With a career spanning over 60 movies in the last four decades, Gary has delighted audiences with various roles, each more commendable than the last. Having studied with the Young People’s Theatre in Greenwich during the mid-1970s, he worked as a porter in an operating theatre, sold shoes and slaughtered pigs in an abattoir. He was rejected by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. But there was too much passion in him for his art that kept him going, and soon he won a scholarship by Rose Bruford College in Southeast London where he graduated in Acting. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic roles played by the legendary actor:
 
Darkest Hour (2017)
Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour has scored huge acclaim among the fans and critics. The film chronicles Churchill’s leadership qualities and the dire World War II circumstances that instigated it. Despite wearing layers of make-up, Gary Oldman gracefully gets under the skin of the famous political figure. Through this role, he sways both sides of his acting spectrum, offering flamboyant speeches as well as nuanced mannerisms. This role helped him win his first Oscar for Best Actor. Witness this path breaking performance on March 17, 1 pm on Sony PIX.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Oldman earned an Oscar nomination for his deep-frozen, elegantly minimal performance as Cold War spymaster George Smiley in Thomas Alfredson’s stylishly bleak John le Carre adaptation. Oldman painstakingly chose the correct spectacles for Smiley, purposely gained weight and borrowed some subtle mannerisms from Alec Guinness, who first played the character on television in 1979.

Sid and Nancy (1986)
Cult movie lovers claim this to be the first great performance of Gary Oldman's film career. He plays the hard-living Sid Vicious of the seminal punk band Sex Pistols. He made Vicious’s self-destructive habits and brilliantly crass banter with girlfriend Nancy Spungen, played by Chloe Webb, a dark joy to watch. Oldman starved himself to the point of collapse and even wore a necklace that once belonged to the tragic junkie rocker. It is one of Oldman’s most raw, committed, high-voltage performances.

True Romance (1993)
Based on an early Tarantino screenplay, director Tony Scott’s deluxe pulp-noir thriller features a broad ensemble cast of major stars, many in extended cameos. Oldman accepted the role of Drexl Spivey as soon as Scott explained the character is a white pimp who thinks he is black. He still cites this bizarre, audacious, dreadlocked performance as a personal favourite.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Based on JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Gary Oldman played the role of Sirius Black who is the prisoner of Azkaban on the loose. The first half of the film keeps audiences in suspense about the intentions of this fugitive, but Potterheads come to adore this animagus who is later found out to be Harry’s godfather. While this film is all about how Sirius escapes the clutches of dementors and the corrupted Ministry of Magic. The following sequels are about how he bonds with his godson. Watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Amazon Prime.

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