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Gary Oldman: You have to do a lot of Oscar Q and As, big deal. At the end of it, they may give you a gold statue
By SP_COP on February 04, 2014 | From
Gary Oldman: You have to do a lot of Oscar Q and As, big deal. At the end of it, they may give you a gold statue Actor Gary Oldman, 55, had to wait 26 years after his big break in biopic Sid And Nancy to be nominated for an Oscar. Not that he really cared…

What made you sign up to play Doctor Norton in the remake of RoboCop? I like the fact that our director José Padilha is essentially a Brazilian indie documentary film-maker coming into this culture and putting his take on it. He’s given RoboCop what Christopher Nolan gave Batman. He’s tried to give it a realism and a world we can connect with that’s not so fantastical. It’s got a sensibility to it and you’re not overwhelmed by special effects.

Did you see Joel Kinnaman, who plays RoboCop, in The Killing? I saw the whole of the first one on a plane. My wife [singer Alexandra Edenborough] was across the aisle watching a comedy and I could see her head moving all the time. She was obviously laughing and then she’d look over at me and we were polar opposites. I didn’t even get up to go to the loo and she said: ‘What are you watching?’ I said. ‘This fantastic thing. When are we landing? I can’t miss any.’ So I watched all of it, eight hours, from LA to London. I think Joel is superb as RoboCop.

What job would you like a robot for? Probably to do this [types on his iPhone]. We’re all typists now, aren’t we? The struggle of all this is we are communicating with more people. Half the f***ing people I talk to, I don’t need to. We have all these people. ‘Hey, yeah, I might not be in town but if I am I’ll swing by.’ We communicate with more people and interface with them physically less because we all have our heads buried in something.

You were finally nominated for an Oscar in 2012. Was this travesty keeping you up at night? It never really kept me awake and now I’m not on the list of ‘never been’. What made it all the more enjoyable was because it was for Smiley [in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy]. He’s not gay, lesbian, crippled, you know what I mean? So I thought: ‘Well, if I can do it for really doing almost nothing, then that’s OK.’ And when it came around, I was determined to enjoy it. Really, there’s nothing to complain about. They fly you everywhere, they give you nice food, they put you up, most people like you and they say nice things about you. So you have to do a lot of Q and As, big deal. And at the end of it, they may give you a gold statue.

Did you vote for yourself? I think you can vote for yourself. I don’t think I did though. That’s a bit cheap, isn’t it?

Do your roles reveal any of the real Gary Oldman? You mix them to know the real me! Yes, I suppose you could do that. But it’s such an interpretative thing – it’s like the writer is driving the car and you’re a passenger in the vehicle. You come across actors sometimes who say: ‘You’ve inspired me.’ But I still think I’m Gary from New Cross and look around and think: ‘How the *** did I get here?’

Shall we remind RADA once again that they turned you down? I was upset, yes. All the heroes I looked up to had gone to RADA – Tom Courtenay, Alan Bates, Albert Finney – so that’s how I wanted to start. It didn’t work out that way. Now I look back and think it wasn’t really that important, although it was at the time.

Now lots of actors are in awe of you. Who are you in huge awe of? John Hurt. I was very nervous on my first day working with him on Tinker Tailor. He was in the car park, my car pulled in and I was a fanboy.

Did you tell him how you felt? Oh yeah. And then we became friends and got talking. He’s a great raconteur and told me some stories.

How is it being the parent of teenage boys and a twentysomething? I do fear the world that my kids are growing up in. I wish they would read more. But if I were 15, would I want to read when I have every- thing else? You can do what you can do as a parent but, my God, don’t they make it hard for you – when they legalise marijuana [in California] and that kind of stuff. They make it really hard to be a f***ing parent....
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