LOS ANGELES (AP) – Gary Oldman did Winston Churchill proud.
Oldman’s performance as the indomitable British statesman in “Darkest Hour” earned the best actor Oscar on Sunday, capping his triumphant awards season that included a Golden Globe, BAFTA and other trophies for the role.
The English-born Oldman thanked the country that he’s made his home.
“I’ve lived in America for the longest time and I am deeply grateful to her for the loves and the friendships I have made and the many wonderful gifts it has given me. My home, my livelihood, my family and my Oscar,” he said. “The movies …. captivated a young man from South London and gave him a dream.”
Oldman saluted “Sir Winston Churchill, who has been marvelous company on what can be described as an incredible journey,” and thanked his wife and his 98-year-old mom.
“She is watching this ceremony from the comfort of her sofa. I say to my mother, ‘Thank you for your love and support, put the kettle on. I am bringing Oscar home,'” he said.
Oldman underwent hours of makeup to become Churchill for “Darkest Hour,” which focuses on a pivotal time when the prime minister rallied his country to fight Nazi Germany.
Oldman, previously nominated for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” is a leading man with a character actor’s portfolio. His wide-ranging roles have included Lee Harvey Oswald in “JFK,” Sirius Black in the “Harry Potter” franchise and his 1980s breakout roles as Sid Vicious in “Sid and Nancy” and playwright Joe Orton in “Prick Up Your Ears.”
His competition for the Oscar included Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”; Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”; Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out” and Denzel Washington,” Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Other winners sang Oldman’s praises. Jordan Peele, who captured the best original screenplay trophy for “Get Out,” said backstage that he’s been his favorite actor since 1992’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and treasured chatting with him.
Oldman was asked what it’s like to meet his younger, appreciative colleagues.
“We’re links in a chain,” he said, citing his own youthful appreciation for such great British stars as John Hurt, Albert Finney and Peter O’Toole.
He lauded fellow Chalamet, 22, as one of the vanguard of talented actors.
“I said to him, in the words of Arnie (“Terminator” star Arnold Schwarzenegger), ‘You’ll be back.’ This is probably it for me. He’s got years,” Oldman said.
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