Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gary Oldman — the Greatest Actor of Our Generation

True Romance (2001) – Gary Oldman as Drexl Spivey
My All-Time Favorite Actor is Gary Oldman.

Gary Oldman — the Greatest Actor of Our Generation
by Kong from theKONGBLOG™

Gary Oldman is an English actor by way of London, England who currently lives in Los Angeles, California. For most of his acting career, he was widely-known for mastering a wide-range of accents — playing outrageous antagonists & villains — but has recently reached a wider-audience by taking on heroic roles in the Harry Potter and Batman: The Dark Knight franchises.

His rise to Hollywood fame did not come without a price –for he studied acting extensively and spent years practicing — honing his craft. Regardless of whether acting was a natural gift or not, he was a passionate student of the acting game. Oldman subsequently studied with the Greenwich Young People's Theatre and went on to appear in a number of plays throughout the early '80s, including "The Pope's Wedding" — nominated for many British Acting Awards.

His major film debut was Remembrance (1982) and then in 1986, he played Sex Pistol's frontman: Sid Vicious in the biopic Sid and Nancy (1986), scooping-up the Evening Standard Film Award as Best Newcomer. 
And then 1988, he received a Best Actor nomination from the British Academy of Film and TV Arts for his portrayal of '60s playwright — Joe Orton. 

Gary Oldman as Jackie Flannery
State Of Grace (1990)
Although my college years was spent under a cloudy haze, what I do remember was an unbelievable movie called State Of Grace (1990) -starring- Sean Penn & Gary Oldman — both up n' coming actors portraying two childhood pals in a film that was inspired by the "real-life" Hell's Kitchen gang — The Westies. 

His Irish accent along w/ his belligerent & drunkened acting skills was something I would never forget in the particular film...and it's ironic how many years later, he would reveal that he was actually drunk for most of the time on the actual set.

'Drunk on-set and/or on the set — drunk' is what actors have called-it.

"In 1991, Oldman starred in what was at that point the most significant role of his career as Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone's JFK.

The following year, he starred as Count Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's romance-horror Bram Stoker's Dracula. A commercially successful film adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, it was a box office success worldwide. Oldman's performance is regarded by many as a staple of the horror genre, and was recognised by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films as the best male performance of 1992, who awarded Oldman the Best Actor award.

Master of Accents — Portrayer of Villains
Oldman would later become a popular portrayer of villains: he played violent pimp Drexl Spivey in the Tony Scott-directed, Quentin Tarantino-written True Romance (1993), A role which MSN Movies described as "one of cinema's most memorable villains"; a sadistic prison warden in Murder in the First (1995), a futuristic corporate tyrant in The Fifth Element (1997), and Dr. Zachary Smith/Spider Smith in the commercially successful but critically panned Lost in Space (1998). In 1994's Léon: The Professional, he played corrupt DEA officer Norman Stansfield, which has since been named by multiple publications as one of the best villains of modern cinema." — Wikipedia

After Léon (Jean Reno) neutralizes the first SWAT Team, Stansfield (Gary Oldman) orders everyone into the fray,

The success of those aforementioned films led to his mainstream success and prolonged movie career — as he played a Russian terrorist in the blockbuster Air Force One (1997). He also portrayed another historical figure, Pontius Pilate, in Jesus (1999).

[Note: He also appeared as the Devil in the 1993 music video to Guns N' Roses single "Since I Don't Have You" and also on MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch: Gary Oldman -vs- Christopher Walken to determine the greatest cinematic villain of all-time.]

Gary Oldman as Mason Verger in Hannibal (2001)

In 2001, he starred opposite Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal (2001); as Mason Verger, the only surviving victim of Hannibal Lecter's demented fiery and reportedly spent six-hours per day in the make-up room just to achieve the character's hideously disfigured appearance.

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon
Unfortunately, the next few years were rather low-key for he strayed from the blockbusters and starred in more & more independent flicks. Finally, in 2004, Oldman returned to prominence — landing a significant role in the Harry Potter film series as Harry Potter's godfather Sirius Black.

He then achieved perhaps his most storied role as James Gordon in Christopher Nolan's commercially & critically successful Batman Begins (2005), a role he reprised in the even more successful sequel The Dark Knight (2008) and the finale — The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

Today, Gary Oldman continues to act and serve as executive producers in many cable TV series and independent movies. Although he is not commercially demanding or viable as per se Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, his acting skills and uncanny ability to play a vast array of characters; whether it be hero or villain, is rivaled by none.

In my eyes, Gary Oldman is thee best...second-to-none.

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