British actor Gary Oldman wins the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in the film “Darkest Hour”, in which he plays Winston Churchill, at the beginning of the Second World War.
He became known as a punk icon, he triumphed as a heroic statesman: Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill, Gary Oldman showed himself in very antagonistic roles during his career.
In “Darkest Hour” by director Joe Wright, he embodies, through an impressive physical transformation, the British Prime Minister at the beginning of the Second World War, urging courage a country threatened by Nazism.
“It is such an icon, it has been so mythologized, that you wonder: is it possible to break the marble statue and reach the man?”, He said on CNN.
In addition to the four hours of daily make-up during the shoot, Gary Oldman was attentive to the details to immerse himself in his character. He visited the British Parliament and the homes where Churchill lived, even sitting in the chair used by the Conservative politician in his office during the war.
He noticed traces of nails on the left armrest and scratches left by his ring on the right, which he interpreted as signs of the stress suffered by Churchill and that he integrated into his game.
” You really understood who my great-grandfather was”
Besides the Oscar, his performance in the film had already earned him a Golden Globe. Despite the accumulation of rewards, he finds his greatest satisfaction elsewhere, in the approval of the descendants of Churchill.
“Seventeen of them visited us,” he told to CNN. “They love the movie. One of them told me – you really understood who my great-grandfather was, his humor, his energy. That’s it, my Oscar! ” .
Gary Oldman, 59 had already been nominated for the Oscars in 2012, for his portrayal of George Smiley, a melancholy secret agent in The Taupe, an adaptation of John le Carre’s eponymous novel.
Beaten at the time by the French Jean Dujardin, he took his revenge this time by dismissing Timothee Chalamet, nominated for his role in “Call Me by Your Name” ; Daniel Day-Lewis for ( “Phantom Thread” ); Daniel Kaluuya for ( “Get Out” ), and Denzel Washington for ( “The Roman J. Affair” ).
Gary Oldman had made himself famous by playing another icon: Sid Vicious, the punk singer of the Sex Pistols, in the movie “Sid and Nancy” , directed by Alex Cox and released in 1986. He had lost so much weight for this role he had to be briefly hospitalized.
For three decades, he then followed the iconic roles, served by a very physical style, which earned him a reputation as a versatile actor.
After leaving school at age 16, he had been stymied at the entrance of the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. It was Rose Bruford’s drama school, which was also well-known, that opened her arms and allowed her to embark on a successful theater career before taking off in the 1980s at the movies.
He was then part of the new generation of British actors, recognized in Hollywood and celebrated in the media, alongside Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth or Tim Roth.
He played for Oliver Stone and Luc Besson
He notably played the assassin of the president Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, in “JFK” of Oliver Stone (1991), the count Dracula for Francis Ford Coppola (1992) as well as in “Leon” and “The fifth element” of Luc Besson.
More recently, he took part in the Harry Potter film series, where he plays the godfather of the hero, Sirius Black, and in the trilogy “The Dark Knight” , where he plays the curator James Gordon.
Gary Oldman had entered a more intimate register in 1997, writing and directing “Do not Swallow” , a film inspired from his own childhood in a suburb of South London, depicting a family torn apart by drugs, alcohol and violence.
Born on March 21, 1958, Garry Oldman described his father as an alcoholic who had abandoned his family when he was seven years old. The actor, who himself has encountered alcohol problems, is now abstinent. A father of three, he married Canadian actress Gisele Schmidt in 2017 in fifth place.