What do Ludwig van Beethoven, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Winston Churchill have in common? Other than being remembered in our collective history, they've also been portrayed on screen by actor Gary Oldman.
Yes, he played Beethoven in Immortal Beloved (1994), Oswald in JFK (1991), and Churchill in Darkest Hour (2017).
Oldman has also taken on other roles that have become fan favourites such as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter franchise and James Gordon in the Dark Knight trilogy.
In this week's Sunday night movie, The Courier, he plays a vicious, eye-patch wearing crime boss.
Other than flexing his acting muscle in such a multitude of roles, the Oscar winner has also appeared in music videos.
Here are a few things you may not have realised about Oldman.
- Oldman plays the lead role of Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), a gothic horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. He is also featured in the Annie Lennox music video, "Love Song for a Vampire", which is part of the movie's soundtrack.
- He has a brief cameo in the Guns N' Roses video, "Since I Don't Have You". In it, Oldman plays the devil.
- Controversially, he also plays a seedy priest in David Bowie's 2013 single "The Next Day".
- He was born on 21 March 1958, which is also South Africa's Human Rights Day since 1995.
- He has swapped London, where he was born, for America and has confessed to adapting to American English in some cases. “I have dropped some English words for American ones; I say trunk and elevator and cell phone these days,” he tells Jane Graham in a 2014 interview in The Big Issue.
- In the same interview, he says: “What blows my mind most is when you meet people you respect and they revere you, you’re a fan of theirs … and it turns out they’re a fan of you. I still meet these people thinking, oh come on, they won’t have a [bleep] clue who you are." That's because many actors, heavyweights such as Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender have all called Oldman an influence. Bale went as far as to say that Oldman is the reason he is acting.
- He is keen on people's voices and thinks it is the key to their personality. "The way the character sounds is a good way into finding them,” he says in The Big Issue interview. “I often hear the voice first, before I know how they move or anything like that. I was never in a school play, I was never one to get involved in school. But I was quite a good impersonator. I have a knack. I can meet a person and do an impersonation of them within minutes.”
Featured image: Getty
Source: The Big Issue