Actor Gary Oldman attends the 2011 AFI European Union Showcase screening of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center on November 21, 2011 in Silver Spring, Maryland. (Getty Images)more pics »Gary Oldman
has long been one of the best actors on the planet. He first grabbed headlines back in 1986 for his intense portrayal of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious
in Sid and Nancy
, and has since appeared in dozens of major motion pictures playing legendary characters like Ludwig Von Beethoven and Dracula.
The British actor is often mistaken for American because of his perfect New York accent in films like State of Grace, Romeo is Bleeding, Leon,
and the Christopher Nolan Batman
films. But Oldman is most well-known for his off-center portraits of pimp drug dealers (Drexl in True Romance
), outer-space entrepeneurs (Zorg in The Fifth Element
), and calculating Capitol Hill power players (Shelly Runyon in The Contender
). His portfolio is astounding, yet he has never even been nominated for an Oscar. Hopefully that will change this February as his new film, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
, shows yet another side of the iconic actor.
, Oldman is George Smiley, the taciturn, retired British spy from John le Carre
's many novels about "The Circus," the uppermost echelon of MI6. In the film, Smiley is called out of retirement to help track down a suspected mole. The film revolves around his investigation and Oldman plays Smiley with a quiet grace and fortitude that should grab The Academy's attention come awards time.
Smiley, a gross misnomer, is the perfect spy. The antithesis of the Bond-caricature so well-known in cinema, Smiley blends into the background and is hardly noticeable in a crowd. Oldman took some cues from le Carre (who was a MI6 spy himself) in his portrayal, utilizing the sense of dread that comes from always having to look over your shoulder. I was ecstatic to sit down with Mr. Oldman to discuss the role, the amazing all-British cast (John Hurt
, Colin Firth
, Tom Hardy
), and which of his many great characters he is most proud of.
For more photos of Gary Oldman and the cast of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy