Gary Oldman is one of Hollywood's true chameleons and a master of dialects. His diverse1 body of work includes critically praised2 roles as Sid Vicious, Beethoven, Dracula, Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as Sirius Black and Lt. James Gordon in the Harry Potter and Batman franchises.
Despite his reputation as an actor's actor who can play any role with great personal commitment3, Gary Oldman has never been nominated for an Oscar. His greatest triumph probably came from having written and directed 1997's Nil by Mouth, which won two BAFTA awards, one for Best Original Screenplay and the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film.
Otherwise4, among other major awards, his role on Friends as a respected actor with a spitting5 problem got him nominated for an Emmy in 2001, for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, and that same year the Screen Actor's Guild acknowledged his work in The Contender6 with a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
Leonard Gary Oldman was born in London, in 1958. His father, a welder7 and alcoholic, left the family when he was 7 years old. Until the age of 12, he had concentrated on singing and playing the piano, but was inspired8 to try acting in 1970 after seeing Malcolm McDowell in The Raging Moon. He was awarded a scholarship to the Rose Bruford Drama College, and at age 21, he earned a B.A. in theatre arts.
After failing to get into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he went on to the Greenwich Young People's Theatre and appeared in various stage plays in the 1980s, often to critical acclaim9, as well as receiving awards including a Best Actor award from the British Theatre Association for his work in The Pope's Wedding.
In 1986, Gary Oldman took on the role of Sex Pistols bassist10 and heroin addict Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy opposite Chloe Webb. The film won widespread11 critical praise; Roger Ebert called the duo "Punk Rock's Romeo and Juliet," and the 1987 Evening Standard British Film Awards dubbed12 Gary Oldman the Most Promising Newcomer.
His commitment to the role was severe13; in order to play the gaunt heroin addict, Gary Oldman lost so much weight he was briefly hospitalized. The effort paid off: it landed him front-and-center on the industry's map, and Premiere Magazine ranked his performance at No. 62 among the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
After playing Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone's JFK, in 1992, Gary Oldman enjoyed some of the best reviews of his career for his brilliantly spooky14 portrayal15 of Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films lauded16 his performance and consider it a classic in the genre.
He followed up that triumph with some notable17 work, including playing Drexl Spivey in the Quentin Tarantino-penned True Romance, composer Beethoven in 1994's Immortal Beloved, a terrorist in 1997's Air Force One, and as an underhanded18 congressman in 2000's The Contender. His main critical and commercial failure19 of the era was 1995's The Scarlet Letter.
In 1997, Gary Oldman wrote and directed the low-budget film Nil by Mouth, a bleak20 look at his own experiences growing up in South East London.
Critically, the film was an unqualified21 success, nominated for 16 awards and winning eight of them. Notably it received two nominations at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, one for the Palme D'or (which it lost) and one for Best Actress (which was won by the film's female lead, Kathy Burke), and Gary Oldman's writing work won a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.
After almost exclusively appearing in movies with an R rating22 for much of his career (1997's sci-fi flick The Fifth Element among the few exceptions), in 2005 Gary Oldman finally landed a role23 his kids could watch.
That year, he stepped into the phenomenally successful Harry Potter franchise as Sirius Black, the prisoner of note in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He appeared in two subsequent24 films, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
In the summer of 2008, fans saw Gary Oldman reprise25 his role as Lt. James Gordon from 2005's Batman Begins in the highly anticipated26 Batman entry The Dark Knight.
In 2009, he'll play a rabbi27 in the David Goyer horror film The Unborn, along with contributing28 a voice to Robert Zemeckis' star-studded29 animated re-telling of A Christmas Carol30. He is also set to star in the Japanese thriller Rain Fall about a hit man31 taking on CIA assassins.
1 diverse - разнообразный
2 praised - хваленый
3 personal commitment - личное участие
4 otherwise - с другой стороны
5 spitting - шипение, свист
6 contender - противник, конкурент
7 welder - сварщик
8 inspired - вдохновлен
9 critical acclaim - критическое признание
10 bassist - басист, музыкант, играющий на бас-гитаре
11 widespread - широко распространенный
12 dubbed - продублировать, повторить еще раз
13 severe - строгий, требовательный
14 spooky - жуткий, ужасный
15 portrayal - исполнение роли
16 lauded - восхваленный, прославленный
17 notable - заметный, примечательный
18 underhanded - коварный, хитрый
19 failure - провал
20 bleak - безрадостный, суровый
21 unqualified - безоговорочный, бесспорный
22 R rating - рейтинг фильма, запрещающий просмотр лицам до 17 лет.
23 to land a role - исполнять роль
24 subsequent - последующий
25 to reprise - повторять
26 anticipated - ожидаемый
27 rabbi - раввин
28 contributing - предоставление чего-либо
29 star-studded - обладающий "звездным" составом (о фильме)
30 Christmas Carol - Рождественский гимн
31 hit man - наемный убийца
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