Archive for December 10th, 2011

Gary Oldman Tries to Blend into the Woodwork in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’

For a guy who’s famous for playing outsized characters like Count Dracula, Sid Vicious, and renegade wizard Sirius Black, Gary Oldman’s latest role as SIS agent George Smiley in Tomas Alfredson’s cool, masterful movie “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is something of a departure. Like all good spies, Smiley is gray and rather bland — someone you’d walk past in a crowd without giving him a second look. It’s a particularly tricky role for an actor; you have to be dull yet charismatic enough to carry the film. Sir Alec Guinness memorably played aging spy in the 1979 BBC adaptation of John Le Carré’s novel as if he were a stern, yet world-weary headmaster. Oldman’s take is far colder and more unsympathetic; he’s someone you’d have no trouble believing would, in the right situation, kill you.

I sat down with Gary Oldman recently in a Beverly Hills hotel. He was decked out in a shiny purple-and-blue suit. Definitely not an outfit Smiley would favor. In spite of this, his demeanor was quiet and thoughtful, as if we were still channeling the master spy, yet still he radiated the same charisma that has made him one of the most watchable stars working today.

We talked about his character, the movie, and just a bit about his next flick, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Continue reading ‘Gary Oldman Tries to Blend into the Woodwork in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’’


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