Gary Oldman spent 200 hours in make-up to become Winston Churchill

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Churchill.. Gary Oldman on the extensive prosthetics needed to play British prime minister – Credit: Focus Features

Gary Oldman has revealed that he spent over 200 hours in the make-up chair to transform into wartime prime minister Winston Churchill for his new movie.

‘The Darkest Hour’, directed by ‘Atonement’s Joe Wright, also saw the Harry Potter actor ‘carry around half my body weight’ in prosthetics for the role.

Speaking to an audience at the CinemaCon event in Las Vegas, Oldman understated that playing Churchill was ‘a hard one’.

“We see how very, very close we came to Nazi tyranny,” said Oldman.

“Had it not been for Winston, our world might be very different. That, in itself, to come in and play those things is a wonderful gift for an actor.”

He went on: “They’re all challenging in their own way but Winston was kind of a hard one.

(Credit: AP)

“It’s a lot to wrap your arms around. Not only the physical, but he is arguably the greatest Brit who ever lived. A kind of iconic figure. It was daunting but once I started to find out who the man was, it was…well, I never enjoyed anything so much in my life.

“I couldn’t wait to get to work and be him.”

The movie, penned by Anthony McCarten (‘The Theory of Everything’), also stars ‘Rogue One’s Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI, Lily James as Elizabeth Nel, the late John Hurt as Neville Chamberlain, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill.

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