11 Greatest Transformations of Gary Oldman's Career
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11 Greatest Transformations of Gary Oldman's Career

By Agent Bedhead | Seriously Random Lists | August 29, 2012 | Comments ()


I've already made a huge deal about how much I love Gary Oldman and admire his ability to completely disappear within nearly any role within which Hollywood is smart enough to employ him. It's not even a question of how much time this guy's spent in the makeup chair either. He's just a damn chameleon and a bloody amazing actor. Here's his eleven best transformations:

Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element: Some critics have the idea that Oldman was channeling Ross Perot in this role, but seriously, Oldman has more class.


Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy: For anyone who's watched this movie and witnessed the little jig that Oldman does with the children towards the end of this film, I ask you ... why hasn't this guy won an Oscar yet?


Mason Verger in Hannibal: My apologies, but Gary does unspeakable things in this role, and I am so freaked out that I simply cannot speak of them.


Rolfe in Tiptoes: Gary was literally playing a midget in this role by kneeling down during the entirety of his screen time.


Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula: Oldman was both knife-licking & finger-licking good in this role.


Drexl Spivey in True Romance: Oldman as a white Jamaican pimp. Enough said.


Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK: He's got only a few minutes of screen time. but Oldman manages to make a serious impression nonetheless.


Beethoven in Immortal Beloved: Greatest performance in the history of everything? I think so.


Jack Grimaldi in Romeo is Bleeding: As mentioned before, Oldman is a master of accents. This role is no exception.


Norman Stansfield in The Professional: Gary fucking loooves to play the villain, and he pulls this one off in a highly exceptional manner.


Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter: Dude banged Demi Moore. The transformation is implicit.


Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • E-Money

    I'm pretty sure Gary Oldman is a faceless man of Braavos.

  • Zombietroy

    Speaking of which, how do we ensure that Gary is cast in GoT?

  • Frank Booth

    Bring me everyone...
    Whaddaya mean everyone ?

  • Torgotronic

    "Sid and Nancy" - wow. "Immortal Beloved" - double wow. In an alternate universe, there's a version of "A Clockwork Orange" with Gary playing Alex; no disrespect to Malcolm, but just imagine...

  • winged chorus

    No love for The Firm? That was an amazing transformation and role. I'll sit and watch that movie anytime anywhere.

  • Scott

    I think his performance as Sheldon Runyon in the Contender is shockingly underrated.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Hell, until this last year, he hadn't even been nominated for an Oscar! Just further proof of how out-of-touch the Academy is.

  • lonolove

    Did he get skipped over for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy this past year? Huh. I can't remember...and can't be bothered to IMDb right now. There are ZORG pictures (!!!)

  • Uriah_Creep

    Tinker Tailor was his first (and only) nomination.

    By now, he should be Sir Gary Oldman. Get on that, Queen Liz!

  • Bananapanda

    You forgot the contender- sleepy conservative senator balding and paunchy!

  • $27019454

    And a consummate prick.

  • e jerry powell

    Arthur Dimmesdale: hot meat in a rancid sandwich. Demi Moore should have been publicly whipped and pilloried for what she did to Nathaniel Hawthorne.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Okay. He is the greatest actor of all time. Case in point... In Sid and Nancy they are on the subway, he is crying... And he blows a snot bubble. Who the hell else could ever do that?!?

  • Arran

    Much love to Gary, who is truly one of the greats, but that Tiptoes role is exactly the kind of thing that they were making fun of in Tropic Thunder. I wonder if Peter Dinklage spent the entire shoot just muttering "Oh for fuck's sake."

  • damnitjanet

    Jesus...Stansfield sets the bar pretty high for psychopaths, and HOLYFUCKINGSHIT he was unbelievably hot in an otherwise ridiculous Dracula.

  • $27019454

    HOT!! HELL-HOT!!! And I hate that movie with a hell-hate. But I watched it twice...just for him. Love you Gary! Call me!

  • lowercase_ryan

    Has there been a better sociopath in film than Norman Stansfield?

  • this list could easily have been twice as long pretty much every role is a transformation that he disappears into.

  • stardust

    Love this list. Love him. Love love love.

  • FlunkyBoy

    FYI, "midget" isn't a very nice term. "Dwarf" or perhaps "little person" is preferable. Just sayin'.

  • Pookie

    Oldman was superb in “Dracula,” not many actors could have pulled off the eighteenth century pimp look, not even eighteenth century pimps.

  • Jerce

    Romeo is Bleeding is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. And I would totally fuck Norman Stansfield even knowing what an evil devilish monster he is. He'd probably kill me after; I wouldn't care.
    Gary Oldman is one of maybe three or four actors I will watch in ANYTHING.

  • Courtney

    Was in L.A. a couple of years ago having a drink at the bar at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant "Cut" at the Beverly Wilshire. A drink spilled all over a beautiful blonde woman next to me, and as I was helping get napkins I look up and there is Gary Oldman drying off what turned out to be his girlfriend/companion. He was very nice and appreciative. Also, very short and scruffy-faced with a delicious accent... I agree--he is one of the most deserving actors today for an Oscar!!!!

  • I love him. Love love love love him. He's my favorite actor, period. He's the best part of Nolan's Batman movies, dammit. And it's goddamn unforgivable that he doesn't have an Oscar yet.

  • John G.

    He's too good for an Oscar. Other actors should win the Oldman.

  • zeke_the_pig

    If this doesn't win EE then EE has been invaded by bodysnatchers.

  • Simulacrum 1138

    (Claps slowly)
    I salute you for the fine truth of it, sir.

  • exactly

  • MachineGunJeanMaurice

    Yes, yes, yes, yes! Gary Oldman is the gold standard of acting. Performances should be judged on a scale of Oldmans. From 0 to 1, of course, 1 being Oldman in Immortal Beloved and 0 being Arsenio Hall in "Coming to America".

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