It seems bizarre to imagine an actor of Gary Oldman‘s caliber struggling for roles. But that’s exactly where the Oscar-winner found himself in the early noughties, just after he was granted custody of his children after his divorce. He had huge parenting responsibilities then, which made travel much harder.
Thankfully for Oldman, Harry Potter came into his life and he also snagged a role as one of the most prominent DC characters in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The twin roles as Sirius Black – one of our favorite Harry Potter characters – and Jim Gordon in Batman “saved” the actor, as he explained in an interview on The Drew Barrymore Show.
“Thank God for Harry Potter. I tell you, the two — Batman and Harry Potter — really, they saved me, because it meant that I could do the least amount of work for the most amount of money and then be home with the kids,” said the Harry Potter cast member.
Oldman explained that his divorce coincided with “a shift in the industry”, which meant new movies relocated to the likes of Australia and Eastern Europe. The star admitted he “turned down a lot of work” because of his childcare responsibilities, so was thankful for both Potter and Batman shooting predominantly in the UK.
Oldman did a great job in both franchises and definitely benefited in this case from taking on roles in huge blockbusters rather than smaller productions. In both cases, he was a fairly small cog in an enormous machine, despite the size of the paycheck.
Sirius Black, in particular, was a perfect showcase for Oldman’s abilities. On the one hand, the Prisoner of Azkaban version of Sirius allowed Oldman to bring the trademark mania that drove his performances as some of the best movie villains of the ’90s. However, Sirius developed into a warm, if slightly rebellious, father figure for Harry throughout the best movies in the franchise.
As for the future, Oldman is adamant that he won’t play Sirius again, saying earlier this year: “I can’t come back. I went through the Veil. I’m dead. Sirius Black is dead.” So we won’t be seeing Oldman again when the Harry Potter TV series release date comes around.
Oldman or not, we’re very excited about the future of the Wizarding World, with a Fantastic Beasts 4 release date and a Cursed Child release date almost certainly on the way. We’re very keen for the Cursed Child movie to be a gay romance, in order to stay true to the play.
Elsewhere, find out how to watch the Harry Potter movies in order and learn why Harry Potter fans want justice for a character cut from the movies.
The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US and Mermaids in the UK.