The Brilliant Gary Oldman

The Darkest Hour May Be His Brightest Moment

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BY: Claire Connors

In the illustrious career of Gary Oldman, 59, there are so many instances of pure acting genius, it’s almost hard to keep track. Take a look at the photo above. When the then 28-year-old British actor burst onto the scene in Sid and Nancy (1986), as the skinny heroin-addled rock ‘n’ roll mess, Sid Vicious, it was as if he were channeling the tragic Sex Pistols member himself.

A year later, in another bio-pic, Prick Up Your Ears, Oldman took on the role of Joe Orton, the hot, gay playwright who met his own tragic end at the hand of his lover.

Both of those parts garnered the actor accolades and got him noticed in Hollywood where he landed his first big part in State of Grace (1990), playing an Irish mafiosa with a short—not mention murderous—fuse.

Those over-the-top performances are when Oldman really shines. In fact, he’s been voted best villain numerous times for his violent, larger-than-life roles. Who can forget his sexy bloodsucking Count Dracula in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Or his scary/funny role as the dreadlocked drug dealer in 1993’s True Romance? Or our favorite, as the corrupt, pill-popping DEA officer Norman Stansfield in Leon: The Professional? That role alone should’ve gotten Oldman an acting award of some kind.

But it wasn’t until 2011 that that honor was bestowed on Oldman, as George Smiley in John le Carré’s spy thriller, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

He didn’t win the Academy Award that year, but it looks like it may be Oldman’s turn in 2018. His transformation into Winston Churchill for Darkest Hour is considered groundbreaking and the highlight of his career. Darkest Hour may turn out to be Oldman’s brightest.