Belfast Telegraph

Oldman pigs out for George Smiley

Gary Oldman has revealed he went on a special diet to gain a paunch to play MI6 officer George Smiley in the new film adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

The 52-year-old star is taking on the role famously played by Sir Alec Guinness in the classic 1979 TV mini-series, in the new big screen adaptation of John le Carre's novel directed by Let The Right One In filmmaker Tomas Alfredson.

Gary told The Daily Mail: 'I put on a bit of a tummy for the scene where he swims in the pond at Hampstead. God, it was cold!"

He went on: "I wanted to be suitably middle-aged, so I ate a lot of treacle sponge and custard on the set and built up a little bit of a middle-aged paunch. I called it eating for George."

The Dark Knight star revealed he enjoyed his stodgy lunches with John le Carre, whose real name is David Cornwell, to help him learn his mannerisms.

While the film, which opens in September and also stars Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds, Kathy Burke, Toby Jones, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy, is a thriller, Gary revealed there will not be much action.

He said: "They're in the mind; there are no real car chases, rather it's like a high-stakes chess game with everyone watching how the other person moves."

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