Belfast Telegraph

Gary Oldman’s Churchill gets seal of approval from ex-prime minister’s family

The 59-year-old has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in Darkest Hour.

Gary Oldman has told of his pride after Winston Churchill’s great-grandson addressed him as “great-grandpapa” following his portrayal of the former prime minister.

The actor, 59, spoke as he walked the red carpet in London at the premiere of historical drama Darkest Hour.

Oldman – who has just been nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the historical drama – said: “I guess the slight fear I had going in was not only had he been played by so many wonderful actors before, but he is truly an iconic figure, mythologised, and you wonder whether you can find the man behind the marble and the bronze as it were.

“We got the nod from the family – we had a set visit and 17 of the Churchills came to visit, and about a week-and-a-half ago we were on the Queen Mary, as they have a Churchill exhibit and part of our set is on display there.

“Randolph Churchill, the great-grandson, addressed me as great-grandpapa and had wonderful things to say about the film and the portrayal, so it’s a nice feeling.”

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Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas

He said of his Golden Globe nomination in the best actor category: “No, I never expected it!”

Oldman was joined at the premiere in Leicester Square by his co-stars, including Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James.

James said working with Oldman was “a great experience”.

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She added: “I think it’s fascinating right now with everything that is going on in the world to do a film about a leader that was so sort of, at least in this instance, so strong and powerful and stood up to oppression and hatred.

“We could do with some more of that probably. But in this instance yes, how a great leader really can lead and unite a country for the better. We don’t really have that at the moment.”

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