September 29, 2016

Oscars: Best Actor nominee Gary Oldman on the subtleties of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: After more than three decades spent crafting some of the most memorable characters in film history, Gary Oldman earned his first Oscar nomination on Tuesday.

Stop for a minute and say that out loud. Gary Oldman’s first Oscar nomination. I mean, really, Academy. What took you so long.

On the nationally syndicated Sirius/XM program “The Opie and Anthony Show,” Oldman contemplated a question he likely has been asked before: “What was your favorite character?” Yet how does one choose from a body of work that spans includes iconic characters that range from Sid Vicious to Lee Harvey Oswald, from Dracula to Sirius Black.

Oldman, being a good sport, talked about staying in character as Oswald or wanting to make a splash in the brief amount of screen time allotted for “True Romance.” But he confessed that his most recent turn as heady spy George Smiley in Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of John le Carre’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” ranks as one of his all-time favorites.

And why not? It’s a stirring, forceful performance that’s showy in its restraint, and the less Oldman does with the chameleonic character, the more we’re impressed.

And, it earned him his first Oscar nomination. The first of many, we can only hope. Here’s our conversation with Best Actor nominee Gary Oldman:

HollywoodNews.com: This struck me as an exercise in listening, as an actor. Do you appreciate that?

Gary Oldman: Oh, absolutely. And Smily is a great watcher, and a great listener. He listens with his whole body. He’s like a spider. I’ve always thought that. Not physically like a spider. But George is one of those people who is over here on the web, and then he gets a little twitch on the thread, and he acknowledges it, but he doesn’t have to run to get his dinner. He’ll take his time.

HollywoodNews.com: I love that analogy. Was there ever a fear in the moment that you weren’t given enough.

Oh, yes. Yeah, yeah. There were a few times on the set where we’d do a scene and I had to maybe look in a certain direction and glance to a window, and Tomas would say to me, “Let’s, on this one, if you can maybe look to the window.” And I’d go, “I did!” [Laughs] It was small, you know? But you’ve got this wonderful camera that’s here [points at face], and it enables you to try and put across the smallest little flickers.

HollywoodNews.com: Your co-star, Colin Firth, was speaking about “Tinker” affording him the opportunity to work alongside some legends he’d anticipated acting alongside. After your illustrious career, are there still actors you’d like to work with?

Well, it was great to work with these boys. And of course, John [Hurt] was an ambition. I mean, really, I had admired him for many, many, many years.

But I think I’d have to say that I’d like to work with Al Pacino.

HollywoodNews.com: Very funny. Mr. Firth said Pacino also.

Did he say Pacino? Well, for my money, he’s the greatest living actor. I just think he’s amazing.

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
– Producer Jim Burke for “The Descendants.”
Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
Woody Harrelson for “Rampart.”
Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”
– Producer Grant Heslov for “The Ides of March.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • January 30, 2012 | Permalink |

    Gary Oldman needs to win. He’s the best actor.

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