As much as it pained us to leave off characters like Zorg, Smiley, Stansfield, and Jim Gordon, we had to whittle down our list of Gary Oldman’s top roles somehow. The English actor has had a long and illustrious career, and he’s one of the stars of your M-Net Sunday night movie Hunter Killer, which is why we’re taking a gambol through his fantastic filmography.
Before we watch him as Admiral Charles Donnegan in this action thriller co-starring Gerard Butler, let’s take a look at five of Oldman’s top performances.
Sid Vicious, Sid and Nancy (1986)
In what was only his second feature film, Oldman took on the role of punk musician and Sex Pistols vocalist, Sid Vicious. However, Oldman was no stranger to acting, having already established a successful stage career. His remarkable portrayal of Sid marked an exciting transition to film that would lead to many more memorable performances.
Count Dracula, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Oldman continued leaving his mark on movies with fantastic roles and excellent performances in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Henry & June, and JFK. He next landed the titular role in the latest adaptation of Stoker’s famous Gothic novel, infusing passion and darkness into the count’s tragic tale.
Drexl Spivey, True Romance (1993)
The following year he got smarmy as Alabama’s pimp in this Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary-penned film directed by Tony Scott. Thanks to hair and makeup Oldman looks the part, but he also imbues every inch of his performance – from the accent to the voice to the maniacal laugh – with measured brutality.
Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2004 – 2011)
Just before he took on the role of Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Oldman joined another massive franchise: Harry Potter. As a character who has to come off as menacing at first, and tender later, a more perfect actor could not have been picked for the part of Harry’s godfather. As an actor who easily segues from popcorn films to hard-boiled indies, Oldman brought just the right note to one’s of the franchise’s most hard-done-by characters.
Winston Churchill, Darkest Hour (2017)
This was one of those performances that swept awards’ season when it came to the Best Actor nod. Oldman completely transformed for his role as statesman Winston Churchill. Again, hair and makeup did much for the role; but it was also in every commitment Oldman made to the part – both physical and emotional – that made this a tour de force performance worthy of every award.