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5 Fascinating and/or Unsettling Facts You Might Not Know About Gary Oldman

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | June 24, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | June 24, 2014 |

Yesterday, Gary Oldman caught a shitton of flak for comments he made in Playboy magazine in defense of Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin.

On Mel Gibson:

“He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all f——-g hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n——- or that f——-g Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy.

“Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him. But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, ‘That f——-g kraut’ or ‘F—- those Germans,’ whatever it is?”

On Alec Baldwin:

“Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone? I don’t blame him.”

On Nancy Pelosi:

“If I called Nancy Pelosi a c—- - and I’ll go one better, a fucking useless c—- - I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it.”

Oldman hasn’t commented since the publication of the interview, though his manager was quick to defend Oldman, stating that his comments were not meant as a defense of Gibson or Baldwin, but as an attack on the hypocrisy of political correctness. (Apparently, it was a nine-hour interview, and some context may have been remove that would have shed more light on those comments. Oldman’s comments defending gay marriage — which might have softened Oldman’s stance — were also left out.)

Personally, I dunno. He’s probably got a point about the hypocrisy of political correctness, but he sure as hell used the wrong f**king examples to illustrate his point. But the thing about Oldman is, he gives no f**cks. I spent the last hour and a half reading old interviews with Oldman from the 90s and 00s, and he’s basically always been that way: He speaks his mind, some of the stuff he says is crazy (he used to be an insane defender of Lee Harvey Oswald — “a very dark, lonely figure who was innocent. He was the patsy, the fall guy. Exactly what he said he was”) but it got published, and people moved on.

But that was before the Internet age, before we dissected every quote, before we became so quick to judge, and before this slow news month that is killing us all. I’m certainly not defending his poor choice of words; I’m merely saying that a decade ago, nobody would’ve blinked twice because Gary Oldman has always been a salty nutjob, although now at least he cannot (presumably) blame it on the alcohol (he’s been sober for 15-20 years).

Anyway, in reading through old interviews, I did run across some interesting miscellania about Oldman that I couldn’t help but to share (not including reports that he asked not to be billed in the theatrical version of Hannibal because the producers refused to allow him to be top billed along with Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore).

  • Back in the 1990s before his eventual stint in rehab, Oldman met Kiefer Sutherland for the first time and ended up drinking with him. “When they were installed in the chic bar, Oldman asked Kiefer when he had come off the wagon. “The moment I shook your hand,” Sutherland replied. Gary Oldman was nabbed later that night for drunk driving. After that event, he decided he needed to make a change in his life, so he gave up driving. “I’d had a wake-up call that drinking and driving was a stupid thing to do. But I couldn’t face giving up drinking, so I stopped driving.”

  • Best I can tell from several interviews over the years, Gary Oldman hasn’t been that interested in acting since at least 1997 (post Nil by Mouth). During his Lost in Space years, he had said that he’d lost his obsession with acting (“The fire is gone,” he had said) and even during the Harry Potter, Dark Knight movies, he said that he liked them because he didn’t really have to put much effort into them (which allowed him to spend more time raising his sons from two failed marriages). “I want my weekends off and I want to put my kids to bed. Those are good reasons to want to be in ‘Batman 2’.

  • He hates Merchant Ivory films.

    I don’t want to go see a fucking Merchant-Ivory movie with a few people walking around in linen suits getting a little bit pissed off with one another. It has nothing to do with me. You know what I mean? I just go, So what? That’s a nice frock [points to a poster of the film of “Sense and Sensibility”]. Another fucking novel, one of those books. What is it about? It ain’t got … When you go to a cinema, you should come out like having a rocket up your ass.

  • He’s also not a fan of the original Star Wars trilogy:

    I find “Star Wars” quite violent, to be honest with you. It’s been interesting watching it with him this second time around. I can see how the first one worked. I thought he was very clever with it, using the Force. What is it? Is it spirituality? Is it God? I felt it outlived its sell-by date with the second and third in the series. My son loved all three. But I started to get irritated by that plastic, rubbery-looking puppet Yoda.

  • Back in the 1990s, he and Tim Roth were good friends, but rarely had time to hang out, so they started communicating through magazine covers. Eric Stoltz also somehow got involved.




    Source: Freelibrary, Salon, Details, Playboy, The Guardian.