Welcome back, bats--- crazy Gary Oldman

For many movie fans under a certain age, Gary Oldman is best known as Harry Potter’s godfather and Batman’s trusted copper. Which is an absolute joke to people who grew up watching Oldman wring every last drop of crazy out of a collection of deranged movie villains. The Professional, The Fifth Element, True Romance, Air Force One, Lost in Space, Murder in the First. I could go on. He was Hollywood’s go-to madman when Dennis Hopper was busy. So I got a tingle when I saw the trailer for The Book of Eli (releases Jan. 15), in which Denzel Washington finds himself in a post-apocalyptic town controlled by Oldman’s ruthless despot. Don’t be fooled by Oldman’s character’s Commissioner Gordon glasses; he’s a grade-A wackjob.

On the Oldman Scale, I’d place his Eli character some place between the dreadlocked pimp in True Romance and the southern-accented space terrorist in The Fifth Element. Welcome back, bats— crazy Gary Oldman. I missed you.

Do you prefer Oldman as an over-the-top outlaw, or a virtuous hero?¬†And what’s your favorite Oldman moment? One of mine has to be his drug-addicted DEA agent in The Professional. Check it out after the jump, EEEVVVERYOOOOONE!

Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • Tiffani

    ahh, it’s a toss-up between True Romance and The Professional — though to be fair, his True Romance character was spot on. Love The Fifth Element, but he was creepy.

  • Tiffani

    oh and don’t forget Dracula

    • Q

      I had such a huge crush on him when he played Dracula. He added sexy to his creepy and BANG – awesome.

    • orville

      Oh absolutely! Only Oldman could get away with that performance. Completely creepy (licking the blood off that blade–ick), scary, and sexy at the same time.

    • amj

      I absolutely loved him as Dracula! Was surprised to see it omitted in this article!

  • Talia

    Loved Gary in the Fifth Element but have to say that he stole my heart as Dracula – I could mary that guy – He’s definately on my 5 :)

  • Ceballos

    YES, to this item.

    It’s been great to see Oldman play some good guys in this decade (Sirius Black, Commissioner Gordon) just because it shows what fantastic range he has.

    However, I’m happy to have 1990’s Gary Oldman back, the go-to bad guy for much of that decade. I might plunk down $$ for “Eli” just to see that.

    My absolute favorite moment is the EVVVVEERRRYYYOONNNEEE scene you embedded, which also happens to double as the movie line I repeat to people as they stare at me in confusion.

    On a semi-related note, it’s a crime that this guy’s never been nominated for an Oscar.

  • JLC

    Does Sid Vicious count as a hero or a villain? Perhaps a bit of both. It’s still my favorite Oldman role. And yes, he’s bat—- crazy.

    • Kim

      and so so hot in that movie.
      Gary Oldman!!

  • Yes

    He was one of my favorite guest stars on Friends – where he was in a movie with Joey. I guess the two became friends while working on Lost in Space.

  • karenbelgrad

    He is such a talent… who else could play Beethoven and Sid Vicious?

  • val

    Nobody brings the crazy like Crazy Gary Oldman (his full Christian name).

    “How many stones? Four stones! Not one or two or three!”

  • B

    Love Gary Oldman, period. His range is phenomenal, and I enjoy Commissioner Gordon just as much as the guy in The Professional (sorry, can’t remember the character name). And then there’s Rosencrantz, and don’t forget Beethoven. I couldn’t stand the senator in The Contender, but that’s only testament to Oldman’s amazing performance. He can play anything.

  • annette

    you musta thought it was White Boy Day, Clarence Worley!

  • Kirk

    you know one a lot of people forget abput is his role as mason verger in Hannible. The guy that Dr. Lecter convinced to cut his own face off and the revenge he tried getting on Lecter. Awesome job.

  • patty

    He is one of the most underated actors, often overlooked, too bad. He could do it all, but one of his sexiest roles was in a really dumb movie with Demi Moore, The Scarlett Letter. It is worth watching though just for the great shot of his bare ass!!!!! OH MY!!!!!

    • orville

      I forgot he was Dimmesdale in that one. Only he could make that character sexy.

  • jodipo

    i will watch him in anything. His best performance is hard to pinpoint, but his roll in the professional was certainly one of my favorites. I love that movie!

  • Monty

    Don’t forget one of Harrison Ford’s best deliveries:

    He was the bad guy in Air Force One

  • dan

    How about Romeo is Bleeding? “Feed the hole!”

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