Gary Oldman on His Oscar Nomination and How He Chooses a Role

I’m not sure which is more inconceivable: that Gary Oldman has never been nominated for an Oscar before 2012, or that Oldman finally has been nominated for his first Oscar.

He has been nominated for his captivating performance in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — in which Oldman plays retired spy George Smiley — after a quarter of a century of acclaimed roles in Sid and Nancy, True Romance, Dracula, and Leon: The Professional went unrecognized.  While speaking with Moviefone, Oldman reflects on his excitement about being nominated, what he loves about the George Smiley role, and how he chooses his often offbeat parts.

Oldman says that he was taken by surprise when he heard about his nomination, especially since he hadn’t been nominated for other “preliminary” awards.  He says, “I was in Berlin, rather fittingly, and I was giving what I thought would be my last interview about Tinker Tailor, and my manager came in and said I’d been nominated. It wasn’t expected, because we were not there at SAG or the Globes, so I wasn’t holding my breath, but I thought there was a chance. It’s exciting, it’s wonderful.” 

Equally pleasing to Oldman is that he was nominated for a role that isn’t characteristic of his earlier, more colorful acclaimed performances.  He explains, “It’s a role that’s all subtext, it’s all inside, it’s all going on but you’re not necessarily expressing it. It’s an iconic part, it’s just a wonderful leading role and it’s the sort of role that one, in a career, dreams about. It’s a role that will come along once or twice… So this kind of role — and when I say this kind of role, I usually play extrovert characters — this role is also very quiet, it’s subdued, it requires a different kind of thing, it’s a minimalist performance in that sense. It’s a ‘please don’t ask me to bounce off the walls anymore,’ you know what I mean? I’ve been waiting for it.”

So if Oldman wants to perform in more subdued roles, why does he often accept roles that are a lot more… well, loud?  When asked why he chooses the roles he plays, Oldman admits there isn’t an exact science, “It can be many things. It normally is the material and the director. But I can give you a specific example. When I read the script for Dracula, it had a line in it, he said, ‘I’ve crossed oceans of time to find you,’ I wanted to do the movie for that line. I wanted to say that line to someone. I just thought that was an amazing line, and I thought, Who wouldn’t want to say that to someone they loved? And that hooked me.”

1 Comment

  1. Dave Thompson via Facebook

    February 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Definitely about time!

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/sally-field-hello-my-name-is-doris.jpg
Sally Field On Improvisation, How She Chooses Her Roles and ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’
“There’s a dearth of roles for women. I turn down a lot of stuff because there’s just nothing in it for me to do.” – Sally Field   Actress Sally Field put in an appearance at SXSW last week to promote her new film, Hello My Name is Doris. Michael Showalter has directed the movie […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Will-Ferrell-Get-Hard.jpg
Will Ferrell on His Comedy Roots, ‘Get Hard’ and His Favorite Roles to Play
Ferrell was on hand to take part in a Q&A and spoke more about how working with Hart came about. When asked if he chooses his projects based on who he wants to work with, or the script itself, Ferrell explained that each project was different.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/daniel-dae-kim.jpg
Hawaii Five-0’s Daniel Dae Kim Talks Directorial Debut: “The first day I had to yell action, it was kind of odd”
Hawaii Five-0‘s Daniel Dae Kim, who fans know best as Chin Ho Kelly, recently made his directorial debut on the CBS series. Kim shared his experience with The Hollywood Reporter, saying that his experience was “weird at first,” as he had to direct his co-stars. “The first day I had to yell action, it was […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ellie-Kemper-Unbreakable-Kimmy-Schmidt.jpg
Ellie Kemper on ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, Doomsday Cults and Tina Fey
When Ellie Kemper joined The Office in season 5, her character Erin Hannon wasn’t intended to be one of the show’s primary characters. However, Kemper won producers over with her portrayal of the cheerful, naive receptionist and Erin was heavily featured in the series’ final seasons. Her portrayal also impressed 30 Rock producers Tina Fey […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/lily-james-cinderella.jpg
Lily James on Auditioning for ‘Cinderella’ and the Hardest Scenes She Had to Shoot
"The good thing is wearing something like that sort of changes how you stand and it gives you a sense of grace that you can use to your advantage as an actor" - Lily James on wearing corsets