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Gary Oldman slays dragons to play Churchill in 'Darkest Hour'

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 01:51

British actor Gary Oldman talks about taking on the role of the iconic British wartime leader Winston Churchill. Rough Cut - no reporter narration.

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Gary Oldman has played Beethoven, Lee Harvey Oswald, Sid Vicious and Pontius Pilate in his 35-year acting career, but he says taking on Britain's Winston Churchill was by far the most daunting. Months of research, four hours for makeup and costumes every day, and capturing the famous voice of Britain's wartime prime minister were just some of the challenges facing Oldman in the movie "Darkest Hour." Stamina was another. The film, directed by Joe Wright and opening in U.S. movie theaters on Wednesday (November 21), focuses on May and June 1940 when Britain appeared on the brink of defeat in World War Two and Churchill faced deep divisions in his own government, the military and the monarchy. Oldman's risk appears to have paid off. The London-born actor, director and producer is tipped by awards watchers as a front-runner for what could be his first Oscar. Getting there took six months of research, watching and listening to documentary footage of Churchill, and a total face prosthetic for Oldman, who bears little resemblance to the stooping, bow-tied British leader. The plethora of recorded Churchill speeches made the task of capturing his voice harder rather than easier, Oldman said. "Finding those cadences and those rhythms in his speech - they were more prominent when he was publicly speaking. It's how we think he sounds, but he doesn't." Churchill's gift for rhetoric is not only central to the movie, it was a crucial element in Britain's response to the threat of defeat by Germany in 1940, Wright said.

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Gary Oldman slays dragons to play Churchill in 'Darkest Hour'

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 01:51