You would be wrong. Gary Oldman is not an old man’s name. Not when you look at the career this man has built for himself. In fact, Gary Oldman is one of the few people on earth who deserve a title. Nevermind that fake British monarchy Sir/Dame business. Just take the f-word and plant it right in the middle.
Gary F****** Oldman. Badass. Esquire. And don’t you forget it.
Gary F****** Oldman has been making movies for almost three decades. He’s made movies that you’ve (and your parents’ve) cared about since Sid And Nancy in ’86. The man played Sid Vicious for God’s sake. And not the mulleted prowrestler whose body broke down more regularly than a Yugo.
Before he was Commissioner Gordon. Before he was Stansfield, the dirty cop from ‘The Professional.’ Before he was Beethoven, or Sirius Black or ‘Bram Stokers Dracula’ he was THE Sid Vicious. The Sex Pistols bassist. Drug addict. Lunatic. Alleged murderer. Boyfriend of crazy-ass Nancy. Iconic member of one of the iconic bands of rock ‘n’ roll. He played that guy in a movie. Well.
The man is a man’s actor. No product in his hair. No finely spun threads. He plays gritty characters with emotion; damaged souls begging for escape from this flesh. All this while looking like someone’s Civics teacher. With a porn mustache.
Oldman’s bountiful career has led him down many roads, many were emotionally dark and dreary. Who would have figured the one most excellently lit would be the grimiest of all?
In ‘Kung Fu Panda 2′ Oldman plays Lord Shen, a peacock with ambitions to rule the world. He could sum that up in but a few seconds and call it a day, leave the interview, collect his paycheck, and go back home to assemble model planes or whatever the heck he does while deciding on which diabolical character he’ll play next.
Instead, he had to sit down and talk for two whole minutes on his character. Two whole minutes. And that’s after the editing! I’ve never seen a man so deft at jumping in and out of characters, struggle to speak on his own.
The awkwardness of a press junket is best captured in the movie ‘America’s Sweethearts.’ Despite starring Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal AND an un-nekkid Catherine Zeta Jones, ‘America’s Sweethearts’ co-stars kick-boxing aficionado and nerd-turned-leading-man John Cusack so it’s a chick flick with at least one ball. A hairless one. But whatever, it could get you some action from your girl later.
Press junkets are when you sit in a dark room in front of a camera and one mindless, fame-desperate, jackass of an entertainment reporter after another asks you questions about the film, your coworkers, your personal life, or whatever. They’re not clever enough to come up with something interesting or unique. So he probably heard the same questions. Over and over.
He’s an actor and, therefore, an artist. Artists thrive on creativity. So with each new Mr./Ms. Interview-face asking the same damn dumb questions you might get tired. Confused. Frustrated. Tired. Then…you slip into ‘I-don’t-five-a-f***’ mode. And for a guy with a name like Gary F****** Oldman that could get dangerous for Mr./Ms. Interview-Face. Then they ask the wrong question and the last thing they hear before everything fades to black is, “I said kiss the rings and shut your mouth!” From the man himself. Gary. F******. Oldman.