February 3, 2023

“I’ve Had An Enviable Career, But Careers Wane”: Gary Oldman Suggests A Fade To Black In Acting Roles

“I've Had An Enviable Career, But Careers Wane”: Gary Oldman Suggests A Fade To Black In Acting Roles

Academy Award-winning actor Gary Oldman said he may soon be slowing down the horses of his career while promoting the second season of the Apple TV+ series, Slow Horses.

Speaking with the Times of London, the 64-year-old star of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Immortal Beloved, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Dark Knight trilogy, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy said, “I’ve had an enviable career, but careers wane, and I do have other things that interest me outside of acting. When you’re young, you think you’re going to get ’round to doing all of them—read that book—then the years go by.”

“I’m 65 next year, 70 is around the corner. I don’t want to be active when I’m 80,” said Oldman. “I’d be very happy and honored and privileged to go out as Jackson Lamb [his character in Slow Horses]—and then hang it up.”

Slow Horses, based on the Slough House mystery novels written by Mick Herron, co-stars Jack Lowden and Kristin Scott Thomas, and features appearances by Jonathan Pryce, Sophie Okonedo, and Saskia Reeves. The six-episode second season, set in the pencil-pushing remedial room for MI5 rejects, begins airing on December 2. 

Oldman’s professional career began on the stage at the York Royal Theatre in 1979. He soon made his way to the West End, eventually playing the lead in The Pope’s Wedding in 1984, which drew him substantial acclaim. While he made some television appearances, including Mike Leigh’s telefilm Meantime with future collaborator Tim Roth, his major breakthrough on celluloid was as Sid Vicious in Alex Cox’s iconic 1986 doomed rock ’n roll love story “Sid & Nancy.” The following year he starred in Stephen Frears’s biopic about gay playwright Joe Orton, which won Oldman a BAFTA nomination.


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In 1997 he wrote and directed his only feature film, the brutal family drama Nil By Mouth starring Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke. His first Best Actor Academy Award nomination came in 2012 for the lead in Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of John le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. (One could interpret this as a kind of precursor to Slow Horses.) In 2018 he won the Oscar for his turn as Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s The Darkest Hour. In 2021 he was nominated again in the category for the lead role of Herman J. Mankiewicz in David Fincher’s Netflix original Mank. Oldman was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy in 2001 for a guest shot on Friends

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