Gary Oldman has a reputation for being somewhat cantankerous when dealing with the press, and while doing the rounds for "Batman Begins," he wasn't exactly a bundle of joy. However, the Oldman who appeared to promote the "Batman" sequel, "The Dark Knight," was almost a changed man. Before me sat a candid actor happy to talk about a movie he truly enjoyed making. More so, he seemed energized by the already acclaimed performance of his fallen co-star, Heath Ledger, as Batman's nemesis, the Joker.
As Lt. James Gordon, Oldman gives a superbly subtle performance in a role mightily expanded from the first film. Yet, on this day, he had no interest in taking congratulatory kudos from the press. He was much more keen on bringing up the big white elephant neither his co-stars nor directorChristopher Nolan wanted to jinx: Ledger's Oscar chances.
A critic's favorite who hasn't even received a Golden Globe nomination, Oldman knows Ledger's accomplishment will face hurdles because "Dark Knight" is considered a "genre" movie.
"I think the last time they did [it] was Tony Hopkins. They gave him an Oscar for a horror movie ["The Silence of the Lambs"]. So, I think that they will acknowledge this and take it seriously on the strength of the performance," Oldman says. "Not because it's a posthumous Oscar and it's a sympathy vote because he's dead. So, I'd like to see it. He's wonderful in it, isn't he?"
And then, quietly, Oldman sighs, "He's wonderful."