News / Arts & Entertainment

    Oldman Hopes to Overcome Typecasting with 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

    Gary Oldman poses in front of a poster featuring his character of the film "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie in Hollywood December 6, 2011.
    Gary Oldman poses in front of a poster featuring his character of the film "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie in Hollywood December 6, 2011.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Alan Silverman

    In 30 years of making films, British-born Gary Oldman has won acclaim from critics and audiences, but he has never been nominated for Hollywood's top awards. That could change with his latest role.



    In Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Oldman stars as spymaster George Smiley. He's determined to uncover a double agent "mole" in the top ranks of British intelligence.



    SMILEY: "I'm going to have to send you off into the lion's den. If you're caught, you can't mention me. I'm sorry. You're alone."


    Adapted from the 1974 novel by John LeCarré, the Cold War thriller was made into a five-hour television mini-series in 1979 starring Alec Guinness. Oldman is braced for comparisons.

    Gary Oldman in a scene from "Tinker,Tailor,Soldier,Spy"
    Gary Oldman in a scene from "Tinker,Tailor,Soldier,Spy"

    "Guiness was the face of Smiley for many. Other people have played Smiley, but he was considered the definitive performance of it," Oldman notes. "It was a dragon to slay in my head. They are big shoes to walk in."

    The fit seems to be just right in the judgment of usually harsh British critics. The Guardian's Phillip French writes: "Oldman gives us a Smiley equal to Alec Guiness in a triumphant adaptation." The actor says he is pleased that it does not try to oversimplify the novel's intricate plot or turn it into a breathless, mindless action flick.

    "I would like to think that people are ready for it," Oldman says. "I am tired of being assaulted at the cinema with images and sound where I want a nap afterwards. I find movies too loud and too dumb."

    Gary Oldman was born and raised in London. He leaned toward music as a teenager, but studied acting at university and had a successful stage career for almost a decade. Film roles followed and his standout portrayal of rocker Sid Vicious in the 1986 drama "Sid and Nancy" got Hollywood's attention.

    He has played presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in "JFK," the iconic vampire in Bram Stoker's Dracula and police commissioner Gordon in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

    Scene from "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
    Scene from "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

    Oldman says he likes complicated characters like Smiley, but often he's cast in more flamboyant roles.

    "You are at the mercy of the imagination of the people that are casting you," he explains. "So you can get into the situation that I think all actors have suffered from at one point or another where you feel that you are typecast. I've played a lot of characters, but I did a couple of films with Luc Besson that are cartoonish and much bigger than life, and that's what you get known for."

    Fortunately, Oldman has been able to overcome that typecasting, and he is often cited as a major influence by rising young stars like Daniel Radcliffe, who worked with him in the Harry Potter films.

    Oldman appreciates the compliments. He says his own career was influenced by those who came before.

    "There's Gielgud, Olivier, Richard Burton and Albert Finney and all those people, and it's a chain. You are links in a chain and now you see Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling, a new breed of talent that I think are the 'real deal.' You get a feeling that it's not about celebrity or vanity. They're real actors that are coming through," Oldman says.

    With Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy now in theaters, Gary Oldman is already talking about playing Smiley again if more of LeCarré novels are filmed. Meanwhile, he's finishing up one more turn as Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight Rises coming out next year. After that, he promises to retire the character.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures