Biography of Gary Oldman
Gary (Gary) Oldman is a multi-talented actor, producer, director and musician. His biography includes examples of successful collaborations with world-class directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Luc Besson, Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott. The actor became world famous thanks to the role of Sid from the movie “Sid and Nancy” and Dracula – the main character in the film of the same name by Bram Stoker. In 2018, he received his first Oscar for his brilliant performance as Winston Churchill in the drama Darkest Hour.
Pictured: Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman was born in London in March 1958. His father, Leonard Bertram Oldman, worked as a welder, and his mother, Caitlin, was a housewife. The head of the family suffered from alcoholism, and when Gary was 7 years old, he left his children and wife. In high school, Gary dropped out of school to work in a sporting goods store.
Gary Oldman as a child
In his youth, Oldman sang well and played the piano, but he did not develop his musical abilities, since his acting career was more interesting to him. In 1970, he saw the film “Mad Moon” with Malcolm McDowall, after which he became convinced of his desire to become an actor.
Gary Oldman in his youth
He did not succeed in becoming a student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, as Oldman dreamed of, so he had to get a job at the non-profit Young People’s Theater in Greenwich, which later helped him get into the Rose Bruford College drama school. He graduated with honors in 1979 with a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree.
After graduation, Oldman’s career began in major London theaters. His debut on the professional stage was the role of a cat in the production of “Dick Whittington and His Cat”.
Gary Oldman on stage (1979)
In 1985, the actor was awarded the best debut of the season, which was established by Time Out magazine. At the same time, Gary received an award from the British Theater Association. For ten years, Oldman worked at the Greenwich Youth Theatre, went on tour to Europe with the Glasgow theater troupe.
Young Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins
In the early 80s, Gary was a budding television actor. The young actor achieved success on the big screen in 1986 after he played the main role in the famous film Sid and Nancy.
Gary Oldman in Sid and Nancy
Gary flatly refused to play the image of Sid Vicious, rowdy and brawler from the Sex Pistols. Director Alex Cox managed to persuade Oldman only on the third attempt, offering the actor a high fee. For this role, Gary had to lose a lot of weight, as a result of which he ended up in the hospital. However, it was this role that really glorified the name of Oldman and secured the role of the “bad guy” for him. Premiere Magazine has compiled its own rating of 100 performances of all time, the role of Sid Vicious in this rating is located at 62 positions. Gary Oldman’s acting skills received many positive reviews from critics and literally opened all the roads to Hollywood for him.
Gary Oldman in John F. Kennedy. Shots in Dallas”
In 1988, Oliver Stone offered Oldman the role of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in his famous film John F. Kennedy. Shots in Dallas. The picture was awarded the highest ratings from critics. This is confirmed by eight Oscar nominations, including two victories.
While preparing for the role of the Kennedy assassin, Gary felt that there was very little information about his character in the script. So that the actor could fill in the gaps, the director gave him the necessary phone numbers, and Oldman began his own investigation. The actor met the wife of the alleged killer and his daughters.
Gary Oldman in Dracula
In 1992, the actor tried the role of Vlad Tepes in the famous film Dracula. For the best reincarnation, the actor attended special classes to lower the timbre of his voice by an octave. For a more believable game in the scenes of grief, Oldman used a photograph of his own son, Alfie. Thanks to this role, offers to play negative characters literally “fell down” on Gary.
Gary Oldman in Immortal Beloved
Two years later, Oldman reincarnated as Beethoven in the film Immortal Beloved. Daily five-hour piano lessons helped the actor get used to the character.
Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element
Oldman became the main villain of Hollywood in 1997, after the premiere of Luc Besson’s fantastic film The Fifth Element with Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich. Oldman agreed to star in this film without even looking at the script. It was enough for the actor that the director of this picture was Besson, with whom he collaborated in the film “Leon”. The director himself still believes that Oldman is one of the five best performers of our time.
Gary’s main failure is shooting in the 90th year in the film “The Scarlet Letter”, in which the actor played the priest Arthur Dimsdale. The film failed at the box office and received negative reviews. In addition, this tape was nominated seven times for the Golden Raspberry Award. One of them was in the Worst Couple category, which included Oldman and Demi Moore.
Gary Oldman in the movie Hannibal
In February 2001, the movie Hannibal was released. After that, Oldman did not act in feature films for three years. At this time, the actor took part in the films “Route 60” and “Little Fingers” almost unnoticed by film critics.
Gary Oldman as Sirius Black (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
Gary himself said that he was tired of playing the role of “psychopathic villains”, and therefore in 2004 he, without hesitation, agreed to the role of Sirius Black in the world-famous Harry Potter franchise.
“I was happy to do films that my kids can watch without fear,” Oldman said of the role.
Gary supplemented his new role as a “good guy” with the role of the most honest policeman Jim Gordon in the films shot by Christopher Nolan based on Batman comics (the first part was released in 2005).
Gary Oldman in Batman Begins
In 2008, Oldman caught the attention of the audience with the film The Book of Eli, which also starred Denzel Washington, and three years later, after his role in the film Get Out Spy! The actor was nominated for an Oscar for the first time.
Gary Oldman in The Book of Eli
In the 2014 remake of RoboCop, Gary played a doctor who created a robot cop. In the same year, the actor starred as a surviving representative of the human race in the fantastic action movie Planet of the Apes: Revolution.
In February 2018, Gary Oldman received his first Oscar. The statuette “For the best male role” was awarded to him for the role of Winston Churchill in the military drama “Darkest Hour” by Joe Wright.
The make-up artist also received an Oscar, who managed to transform Oldman beyond recognition – on the screen he looks much older and fatter than in real life.
During the filming of Darkest Hour, Gary smoked 400 cigars in a couple of days, after which he got nicotine poisoning. The actor was given a ¾ smoked cigar, which ended pretty quickly. After that, the assistant brought Oldman another cigar. This went on for over 10 takes of each scene.
In 2018, Gary Oldman began collaborating again with Joe Wright. Their next joint project is called “The Woman in the Window”. This time, Gary played the head of the family, who is closely watched by psychologist Anna Fox (Amy Adams). In the same year, Oldman took part in Donovan Marsh’s Hunter-Killer project. In this tape, Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman need to save the President of Russia.
Gary Oldman, together with his friend Douglas Urbansky, who is also his manager, opened the SE8 Group company to finance the filming of independent films.
Gary Oldman and Douglas Urbansky
In 1997, Gary made his own film Do Not Swallow, in which he took part as a director and screenwriter. Thanks to this work, Oldman won two BAFTA awards and a nomination for the Palme d’Or at Cannes.
Another directorial work by Gary is a music video for his wife, Alexandra Edenborough.
Personal life of Gary Oldman
The first time Gary Oldman married British actress Leslie Manville. They signed in 1987, a year later Leslie gave birth to Oldman’s son Alfie. Three months after the birth of the child, the actor left his wife.
Gary Oldman and Leslie Manville
In 1990, during the filming of the film State of Frenzy, Oldman met actress Uma Thurman, a little-known at that time. Soon the actors got married, but two years later they broke up. The main reason for the divorce was Gary’s alcohol addiction.
Gary Oldman and Uma Thurman
For several years, Oldman lived in a civil marriage with Italian actress Isabella Rossellini until he met Dona Fiorentino, whom he became engaged to in 1997. Four years later, the family union broke up, despite 2 common children. Dona said that Oldman had an alcohol and drug addiction, and therefore the divorce turned out to be scandalous. Gary, in turn, argued that Fiorentino also did not refuse banned substances. After a lengthy trial, the actor nevertheless received sole custody of his sons. Dona also received the right to periodically visit children.
Gary Oldman and Alexandra Edenborough wedding
In 2008, Gary married for the fourth time. British jazz singer Alexandra Edenborough became a happy wife. The couple bonded in California. In January 2015, Alexandra filed for divorce – Gary’s problems with alcohol again became the reason. Gary got married for the fifth time in 2017. The chosen one was the writer Gisele Schmidt, whom Oldman began to court during a divorce from his previous wife. The wedding of Giselle and Gary was played secretly in Los Angeles, the couple invited only relatives and close people to their wedding.
Gary Oldman now
In 2019, Gary Oldman appeared in several films. Among them are the thriller The Curse of Mary, Laundromat, The Anonymous Killers Club and The Courier. Surprisingly, despite the presence of such a famous actor in the tapes, they received extremely low ratings from critics and viewers. According to Kinopoisk, the average rating of films was 4-6 points out of 10. In 2023, the actor appeared in the film Mank by David Fincher – this work was more than successful. The plot told the story of Herman Mankiewicz, who retires to a house in the middle of the Mojave Desert and writes a script for director Orson Welles, along the way recalling his years in Hollywood. At the same time, Oldman was working on the film A Place Among the Dead with Juliette Landau.
Other recent premieres featuring Oldman include the thriller Traffic, in which he starred with Armie Hammer and Michelle Rodriguez, and the psychological detective The Woman in the Window. Filming is under way for Gary’s directorial effort, The Flying Horse, which tells the life story of Edward Muybridge, a photographer and film pioneer.
Gary Oldman in the movie Traffic
And of course, the name of Gary Oldman was included in the list of actors invited to the special project “Return to Hogwarts” – this is a documentary dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film in the format of interviews with participants in the saga about young wizards.