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50 Interesting Facts About Gary Oldman – Harry Potter’s Godfather Sirius Black

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Gary Oldman is an English actor, filmmaker, musician and author, famous for his roles as Sid Vicious in “Sid and Nancy” (1986), playwright Joe Orton in “Prick Up Your Ears” (1987) and as Sirius Black from the “Harry Potter” series. Here are 50 facts about the actor.

Actor Gary Oldman arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Robocop' at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 10, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
(Photo : Gregg DeGuire/WireImage) Actor Gary Oldman arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Robocop' at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 10, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
  1. Oldman got his inspiration to act after he watched Malcolm McDowell in “Raging Moon,” in 1971. He said “Something about Malcolm just arrested me and I connected, and I said, “I wanna do that.”
  2. He was a singer and knew to play piano since his childhood, but gave up everything to pursue acting.
  3. He dropped out of school at an early age of 16 and started working in a sports shop.
  4. He was born as Gary Leonard Oldman on March 21, 1958, in New Cross, London.
  5. He was born to Kathleen Chariton and Leonard Bertran.
  6. Oldman’s father was a former sailor, who also worked as a welder. He was alcoholic and left the family when Oldman was just 7 years old.
  7. Oldman was very supportive of local football club Millwall. He came to know that his father also represented Millwall during World War II, stated by his mother only in 2011.
    English actor Gary Oldman, 17th July 1988.
    (Photo : Terry O'Neill/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) English actor Gary Oldman, 17th July 1988.
  8. He studied acting at Young People’s Theatre in Greenwich during 1970’s. At the same time, he was working as a porter in an operating theatre, soled shoes and worked in an abattoir beheading pigs.
  9. He graduated with BA in acting in 1979 from Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, Southeast London. He had won a scholarship to attend there.
  10. He had applied at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and was asked to apply the following year. However, he was advised by them to find something else to do for a living than acting.
  11. His stage debut was in 1979 as Puss in the play “Dick Whittington and His Cat,” at York’s Theatre Royal.
  12. He made his film debut in 1982, with the movie “Remembrance.” However, his first starring role was in 1984’s “Meantime,” alongside Tim Roth.
    Uma Thurman and Gary Oldman
    (Photo : Ron Galella/WireImage) Uma Thurman and Gary Oldman
  13. He suffered an eye injury in the second day of shoot for “Meantime.” He along with Tim Roth was throwing milk bottles in a factory, when one hit the fluorescent bulb that hit him.
  14. He got his breakthrough when he was cast as lead in Edward Bond’s “Saved.” His performance was liked by Max Stafford who cast him in “The Pope’s Wedding,” in 1984 as the lead Scopey.
  15. He was awarded as Best Newcomer at Time Out Fringe Award and Best Actor at Drama Theatre Award for his performance as Scopey.
  16. He was reluctant to accept the role of Sid Vicious in the movie “Sid and Nancy,” and only accepted it on the third attempt by director Alex Cox because of the higher salary.
  17. He was required to lose weight for the role of Sid Vicious but lost too much ad ended up in a hospital.
  18. His performance as Sid Vicious was ranked at #62 in the list of “100 greatest performances of all time,” by Premiere Magazine.
  19. He also earned #8 in the list of “10 Best Actors in Rocking Roles,” by Uncut magazine for the same performance.
  20. Ex-Sex Pistol’s Vocalist John Lydon was very critical of the movie “Sid and Nancy,” and questioned its authenticity but described Oldman as “bloody good actor.”
  21. He was nominated for Best Actor at BAFTA for his performance as Joe Orlan in “Prick Up Your Ears.”
  22. He was cast in the science fiction movie “The Fifth Element,” by director Luc Besson in 1997. He had accepted the role to pay back the finances that the director had provided to him.
    Actors Gary Oldman and Isabella Rossellini leave Carnegie Hall in New York after a concert for the benefit of the Rainforest Foundation International, 13th April 1995.
    (Photo : The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images) Actors Gary Oldman and Isabella Rossellini leave Carnegie Hall in New York after a concert for the benefit of the Rainforest Foundation International, 13th April 1995.
  23. He starred as Clive Bissel, a football hooligan in the British drama, “The Firm,” in 1989. It is still considered as his best performance ever.
  24. He starred as Lee Harvey Oswald in the 1991 movie “JFK.” This was his first Us Blockbuster movie making him a huge star in the United States.
  25. He was awarded the Best Actor in 1992 by Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films,” for his performance as Count Dracula in “Dracula.”
  26. To attain a more sinister voice quality as Dracula, Oldman hired a singing coach to help lower his voice an octave.
  27. In a scene when Oldman as Dracula had to grieve over a corpse, he used his son Alfie’s album to create the grieving mood.
  28. He was cast in “Immortal Beloved,” in 1994 playing as the composer Beethovan. The same year, he also appeared in “Leon: The Professional,” where his character is obsessed with Beethovan.
  29. He practiced piano for 5 hours daily to play the part of Beethovan. He wanted his hand movements to look real while playing the part.
  30. Oldman was nick named “Scary Gary,” during the filming of “Air Force One,” for his chilling performance as Ivan Korshunov. Harrison Ford has named Oldman as his favorite on-screen nemesis.
    Actor Gary Oldman and wife Donya Fiorentino with their son Charlie.
    (Photo : The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images) Actor Gary Oldman and wife Donya Fiorentino with their son Charlie.
  31. “Airforce One” Director Wolfgang Peterson Kingly said that his experience about the production was “Airforce fun,” due to the fact that Oldman was very comedic between the scenes, apart from scary during scenes.
  32. He also served as member of the Jury during the Cannes Film Festival in 1993.
  33. He was nominated for Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as Republican Congressman Sheldon Runyon in the movie “The Contender.”
  34. He starred alongside Anthony Hopkins in 2001 movie “Hannibal,” as Mason Verger, who wants to take revenge on Hannibal Lector.
  35. He also appeared in two episodes of the popular sitcom “Friends,” in 2001.
    Actor Gary Oldman (C) and sons Gulliver Flynn Oldman (L) and Charlie John Oldman (R) attend the premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'Robocop' at the TCL Chinese Theatre on February 10, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
    (Photo : David Livingston/Getty Images) Actor Gary Oldman (C) and sons Gulliver Flynn Oldman (L) and Charlie John Oldman (R) attend the premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'Robocop' at the TCL Chinese Theatre on February 10, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
  36. He was nominated for Emmy Awards for his appearance in guest role for sitcom “Friends.”
  37. He was cast as Harry Potter’s Godfather Sirius Black in 2004. It was reported that he got very close with Daniel Radcliffe during the shoot.
  38. He was cast as James Gordon in “Batman Begins.” Having played baddie all his career, Christopher Nolan giving a good guy character to Oldman was very unusual in Nolan’s part.
  39. He along with Lesley Manville was cast as Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit in 2009 movie “A Christmas Carol.” In fact they were married in real life from 1987 to 1989, and have a son Alfie.
  40. He provided his voice to the villain Lord Shen in animation movie “Kung Fu Panda 2.” For his performance he was nominated for Annie Award.
  41. He was nominated at Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor for his performance as George Smiley in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” in 2011.
  42. Oldman has acted for thirty years till 2012 and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” marks his first ever Academy Award nomination.
  43. In one of the scene when he goes for his eye exam, the person adjusting the equipment is, his own son Alfie Oldman.
  44. Oldman is credited with directing, producing and writing the award winning movie “Nil by Mouth,” which won BAFTA Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film and BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay.
  45. Oldman along with partner Douglas Urbanski formed a producing company “SE8 Group.” Their first movie was “Nil by Mouth.”
  46. He met Uma Thurman on the set of “State of Grace,” and married her in the year 1990. The relationship lasted only for two years.
  47. He was involved in a romantic relationship with Italian actress and model Isabella Rossellini. It was rumored that the duo got engaged in July 1994, however, they separated two years later.
  48. From 1997 to 2001, he was married to Donya Fiorentino. The couple had two sons - Charlie John Oldman, and Gulliver Flynn Oldman.
  49. Following his divorce with her, Oldman was granted sole legal and physical custody of both the children, while Fiorentino was only allowed occasional state-monitored visits.
  50. He later got married to English singer and actress Alexandra Edenborough on December 31, 2008 in Santa Barbara, California. On January 9, 2015, Edenborough filed for divorce.
    Alexandra Edenborough and actor Gary Oldman arrive at the 25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala - Arrivals at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 4, 2014 in Palm Springs, California.
    (Photo : Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) Alexandra Edenborough and actor Gary Oldman arrive at the 25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala - Arrivals at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 4, 2014 in Palm Springs, California.

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