I think the first time I saw Gary Oldman in a movie he was playing Sid Vicious in the movie “Sid and Nancy.” From the very start he felt like a force to be reckoned with. His talent was obvious! Next it was his part as British playwright Joe Orton in “Prick Up Your Ears.” Soon after that it was “Henry and June,” “JFK,” and Coppola’s “Dracula,” edited by my friend Glen Scantlebury, and the list of wonderful performances just kept growing. I became a big fan, found him interesting to watch, marveled at the variety of characters he played and wouldn’t want to be friends with many, but always figured that if Gary Oldman was in the film it was probably worth checking out.
Since then I don’t think he’s disappointed me. Some films I liked better then others, some I didn’t see like “Hannibal,” because I’m not good with scary movies. I thought he was brilliant as was Kevin Bacon in “Murder in the First,” loved his performance as Beethoven in “Immortal Beloved,” and really liked his character of “James Gordon” in the “Batman” series. Actually it was after seeing “The Dark Knight” recently that I started thinking about Oldman again and how much I’ve enjoyed him as an actor over the years.
Gary Oldman doesn’t get a lot of publicity he gets accolades and respect. He’s what you call an actor’s actor. Something you might not know is that as a child he was also an accomplished singer and pianist who finally settled on acting instead of music. (I can relate to this because I was always torn between art and music.) After winning a scholarship and getting a BA in drama from the British drama school Rose Bruford College, Oldman applied to the Royal Academy of Drama and was rejected. They told him to “go do something else with your life.” I’m certain they have since regretted their decision. Oldman has also tried his hand at writing, directing and producing most notably with his award winning film “Nil By Mouth.”
Oldman does his best to do his work and stay out of the spotlight. He isn’t interested in being famous, he’s interested in being the best actor he can be. He’s been married three times and has three sons from two of his previous marriages. He’s had a major problem over the years with substance abuse, but is now clean and sober after rehab and his affiliation with AA. He was born in London and moved to the states in the early 90’s and currently lives in LA. It looks like 2009 will be a busy year for the actor as he has 4 movies slated for release.