Reporting from Hollywood
Playing Winston Churchill, “arguably one of the greatest Brits”, made Gary Oldman’s first Oscar win extra special, the actor revealed on Sunday (Monday, 5 March, Singapore time).
Oldman shared in a press interview with Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore that his admiration for the late political figure was one of the reasons the win held “special significance”, but added that the “amazing cast and crew” had made the film a highlight of his 39-year acting career.
“Darkest Hour” tells the story of Churchill, played by Oldman, when he was the UK prime minister during the Second World War. The movie centres around a difficult decision to send 4,000 soldiers to a suicide battle in order to save 300,000 in the French city of Dunkirk.
“I don’t know how you sleep soundly in bed on the evening you sent 4,000 to their deaths,” said the 59-year-old actor.
Oldman praised Churchill for his habit of “looking to history” in order to “look forward”, and said the historical figure would give a “good talking” to many leaders in the world today if he were still alive.
The veteran actor also shared his dismay at the fact that very few young people were familiar with Churchill, recalling a survey that showed how clueless many “college people” were when asked about the former leader.
Recounting some of the results, Oldman said some thought Churchill was a soldier during the First World War, while others could only remember the bulldog mascot for a popular British insurance company of the same name.
“We don’t teach history anymore do we? They don’t know anything about it.”
However, when it came to young actors, Oldman had high hopes for new Oscar nominee Timothee Chalamet (from”Call Me By Your Name”), and was full of praise for the 22-year-old.
“He’s a lovely kid. He’s a kid and a charmer. Hugely talented. I sat with him tonight and said – in the voice of Arnold – you’ll be back,” said Oldman. “This is probably it for me [but] he’s got years.”
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