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Gary Oldman Loved 'True Detective,' Wants To Work With Paul Thomas Anderson, Defends Mel Gibson & More

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by Cain Rodriguez
June 24, 2014 9:01 AM
22 Comments
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It should have been simple. It’s only a couple of weeks away from the release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” why not have its human star, the franchise-ubiquitous Gary Oldman, sit down for an interview with Playboy? There’s no way that could go wrong, right? While 20th Century Fox and Oldman’s publicist do damage control, let’s run down some of the other non-Mel Gibson-defending things Oldman revealed in the very candid talk with the famous lad mag. (And okay, the Mel Gibson stuff too).

The celebrated character actor was honest right from the get-go, essentially taking the piss out of many of his more famous roles: his breakout role in “Sid & Nancy?” Oldman doesn’t “think [he] played Sid Vicious very well.” Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element?” “Oh no. I can’t bear it.” And what of the two roles that have kept him in the public consciousness over the past decade, Commission Gordon and Sirius Black? “It was work.” What about his larger body of work, does he feel proud of what he’s accomplished? Said Oldman, bluntly, “Most of my work I would just stomp into the ground and start over again.”

Though he may not be as fond of his work as we are, like us, Oldman loves the stuff being done in television, saying “I’m a huge fan of long-form TV. ‘Mad Men.’ I loved ‘True Detective;’ Matthew McConaughey gets better and better. ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ‘The Americans,’ ‘House of Cards’ – oh God, I loved it. It makes me want to create a show and sit back and get all that mailbox money.” While he’s more enamored with the work done on the small screen than the tentpole material that Hollywood keeps churning out – and that he, himself, has been a part of – Oldman still has things he wants to do on the big screen, telling the magazine “There are directors I would still want to work with – Wes Anderson Paul Thomas Anderson. I’ve never worked with Todd Haynes. I love John Sayles. I’ve never worked with [MartinScorsese.”

And then, of course, came the reason – well, one of the reasons, see his rant on satire – why you’ve no doubt seen links to (and articles about) this interview all over the internet yesterday evening and this morning. During a (justified) rant about the state of film financing and the difficulty of raising money for non-genre and adult fare, Oldman gets lost and starts talking about and defending both Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin, which, of course, leads him deeper into exposing Hollywood hypocrisy, as he sees it.

"I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it," Oldman said. "The policeman who arrested him has never used the word nigger or that fucking Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say 'the N word' and 'the F word,' though there are two F words now."

"Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him. So they persecute. Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, 'That fucking kraut' or 'Fuck those Germans,' whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct," Oldman continued. "That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, 'Isn’t that shocking?' We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, ‘Isn’t that shocking?’”

Outrageous rants about being able to call House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a very bad word aside, the non-cinema portions of this Playboy interview simply confirm the deeply conservative image Oldman showed in the GQ profile from a couple of years ago where he told his interviewer that “his wife felt there may be negative consequences if his political views were painted in a certain way.” Maybe Oldman should have heeded her advice. Read the entire interview – seriously, it’s worth the time – over at Playboy, but maybe don’t visit the site at work.

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22 Comments

  • Quin | June 26, 2014 12:01 AMReply

    Screw Oldman and Gibson both. I look at these stars as people, because they are. And as people, if I would have a problem with them in my personal life, I have a problem with them in my media-viewing life. Of course, we probably have plenty of people in our personal lives that harbor opinions we don't care for. But if those opinions are made known, we have the right rid ourselves of them. Gibson made his opinions known, and we have the right to rid ourselves of him. I mean ... who warns his wife about getting raped by "a pack of wild N#$@#$." Nobody I'd defend.

  • Joe H. | June 25, 2014 4:49 PMReply

    Oldman's right, the hypocrisy is overwhelming. So much political correctness and over-sensitivity. It really sucks because Gibson is an immensely talented filmmaker and Hollywood's ridiculous double standards have hindered several of his projects. He said a few damn words, forgive him already. Stupid people...

  • James H. | June 25, 2014 8:47 AMReply

    Oldman thinks it's fine if Alec Baldwin is mad at the paparazzi, to call them.... of all the non-bigoted insulting words in the entire world.... F.A.G.s? To use an insulting term for gay people as a handy term of abuse for anybody, whether he knows their sexual identity or not? To immediately reach for that as the lowest thing he can think of? I guess that means Oldman feels the same way? You know, I am not terribly judgmental of how actors get jobs, but I heard years ago that Oldman was the quintessential user. From the beginning of his career, it seems that he has managed to find influential women in his industry, and use them to advance in it. So congratulations to him on being heteronormative, but maybe he should try a little moral introspection before using it as a soapbox.

  • serpico | June 24, 2014 6:49 PMReply

    "he told his interviewer that “his wife felt there may be negative consequences if his political views were painted in a certain way.” Maybe Oldman should have heeded her advice."

    You see? It's people like the author of this article that would take Oldman out of context, or misread the points he's trying to make. Bravo, Oldman. Thanks for speaking truth.

  • serpico | June 24, 2014 6:46 PMReply

    Gary Oldman is the man. Boldly speaking truth while others keep their mouths shut.

  • hank | June 24, 2014 12:48 PMReply

    Oldman wants to work with John Sayles and Paul thomas Anderson. This controversy refuses to die and I'm tired of hearing about it in my twitter feed.

  • Trance | June 24, 2014 12:22 PMReply

    So what's his point? It's not ok to criticise bigots and racists because we are all bigots and racists? Duly noted Mr. Oldman. What wise words you spew.

  • Jessica | June 25, 2014 10:32 AM

    Didn't sound like he had any notion of working on himself. I think he thinks everyone is actually racist so we should be more open about it.

  • Daniella Isaacs | June 25, 2014 3:39 AM

    Um, I think his point is that maybe we should spend more time working on ourselves and less time criticizing others, like you know, what people are doing right now on this comments thread.

  • Mongoosecmr | June 24, 2014 12:04 PMReply

    I've always thought Oldmn wasted his talent on shorty villain and supporting roles, and it's weird to see him agree. People keep saying he deserves all the oscars but I can never think of more than a handful of roles that deserve one. I hope he pulls a McConoughey and changes his career around.

    And I don't disagree with anything he said about Gibson. Political views aside, the way he was lampooned for years now over some admittedly horrible remarks just reeks of forced outrage. Your passive aggressive tone towards him even considering defending him confirms it for me that people today are too easily choosing to be outraged over nothing.

  • JACK | June 24, 2014 10:56 AMReply

    If Oldman's unsatisfied with his mainstream work he should direct another film! Nil By Mouth is one of the greatest movies ever made. The discussion of his politics is interesting - John Sayles isn't exactly the go-to director for conservatives, but then Robert Duvall, a Republican, loves Ken Loach, who's pretty much the most left-wing director in the world.

  • Susan | June 24, 2014 12:59 PM

    If you read the complete interview, you would realize he's been trying to get money for his directorial work for 2 years without success.

  • BC | June 24, 2014 10:38 AMReply

    Saying you love John Sayles these days feels controversial.

  • cirkusfolk | June 24, 2014 10:38 AMReply

    Ha. I love it. Especially the condemning tone of this article by the playlist. Aww one of their favorite actors doesn't hold the same PC tree hugging liberal love the gays attitude they do. Can we now expect more hate on Oldman articles from now on?

  • Erik | June 24, 2014 11:40 AM

    By all means, slap other bigots on the back for being a bigot!

  • Christopher Bell | June 24, 2014 11:11 AM

    "Aww one of their favorite actors doesn't hold the same PC tree hugging liberal love the gays attitude they do. "

    What the hell is wrong with you?

  • M. | June 24, 2014 10:21 AMReply

    While I don't agree with much of what Oldman says in his interview, I do agree with what he said about being labeled a racist if you didn't vote for 12 Years A Slave (or think it was that fantastic a film OR that Lupita Nyong'o deserved that Oscar). By now, it would appear that the whole of the voting Academy was more or less bullied, threatened into throwing all support towards the film and Nyong'o and her overrated performance. The media was certainly paid off as well by Fox Searchlight/Nyong'o's team to run a nasty campaign against American Hustle in particular. So, on that point, Oldman is not wrong. However, defending Gibson?, using the vile "c" word when describing Nancy Pelosi....yikes.

  • lee | June 24, 2014 11:51 AM

    for Christ's sake Hollywood finally makes a movie about slavery and people twist themselves inside out trying to work out a way to bitch and moan without appearing like a word used to describe Nancy Pelosi.

  • No | June 24, 2014 10:10 AMReply

    I read the interview and it is hardly controversial.

  • john dahl | July 13, 2014 3:54 PM

    lll

  • Jane | June 24, 2014 10:01 AMReply

    I mean....he's not wrong...

  • Sanker from India | June 24, 2014 9:33 AMReply

    Hahahahahaha! I always get shit for saying Oldman is overrated in Leon! Now he agrees!! And he's right about the hypocrisy. It doesn't matter if you tolerate everyone, it only matters that you're ACTING like you're sensitive.

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