Gary Oldman Reveals How Harry Potter Movies “Saved” Him in a Difficult Time of His Life
In a heartfelt revelation on The Drew Barrymore Show, acclaimed actor Gary Oldman shared the deeply personal and transformative impact that his roles in the Harry Potter and Batman film franchises had on both his career and his role as a single father.
How he got the role.
Gary Oldman got the role of Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series through a combination of his talent as an actor and his previous work in the film industry. Oldman’s reputation as a versatile and skilled actor, along with his previous performances in various films, likely contributed to him being considered for the role. Additionally, the casting process for the Harry Potter films involved auditions and deliberations by the filmmakers and producers to select the best actors for each role.
In an interview, Oldman admitted that the popularity of the Harry Potter franchise wasn’t the main reason why he pursued the role of Sirius Black. In fact, he accepted the job because of the money. He mentioned that he needed the money to support his family.
He fell in love with the character and colleagues.
Gary Oldman expressed his enduring gratitude for the Harry Potter films, emphasizing the pivotal role they played during a challenging period in his life. The Slow Horses star and father to sons Alfie, Gulliver, and Charlie, as well as step-son William, revealed that his casting as Harry Potter’s godfather, Sirius Black, coincided with the time he became a single father. He and his ex-wife Donya Fiorentino got divorced in 2001.
In the Harry Potter set, Oldman assumed a fatherly role not only with his on-screen character but also with Daniel Radcliffe, the titular star. Their bond extended beyond acting, with Oldman teaching Radcliffe to play a bass guitar riff during downtime. He also gave Radcliffe dating advice.
As they reunited for the 20th-anniversary special Max’s Return to Hogwarts, Radcliffe expressed his initial intimidation and later appreciation for the multifaceted relationship with Oldman. He emphasized the fun they had between takes, and the valuable lessons shared during their intense moments on set.
He’s grateful for Sirius Black.
Oldman candidly shared that he turned down numerous job opportunities to prioritize being with his children. He credited the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, both filmed consecutively, for balancing minimal work and substantial income, enabling him to spend more time at home. He expressed gratitude for these roles, stating that they essentially saved him during a demanding period.
While filming Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins in 2005, Oldman demonstrated his commitment to parenthood by shuttling between Los Angeles and the London set. He described making 27 round trips, flying in for a day, doing a shoot, and then returning home for short periods. Oldman praised Nolan for maintaining a schedule that allowed him to balance work and parenting responsibilities. He also underscored the importance of being directly involved in their lives rather than leaving their upbringing to a nanny.
Parenthood wasn’t always his priority.
Reflecting on his parenting journey, Oldman admitted he wasn’t present for his first son, Alfie. But he saw the opportunity to be a better father with his subsequent children. This effort appears to have paid off, as his proudest accomplishment is seeing his children grow into “really, really nice people” who, in his words, ultimately saved his life. These candid reflections unveil an important chapter of his life where fantasy and reality converged.
Gary Oldman’s commitment to being present for his children, the sacrifices made, and the redemption he found in the opportunity to be a more engaged father showcase a remarkable intersection of personal growth and professional success. In the end, this narrative proves the transformative power of storytelling and its profound impact on the lives of those who bring these stories to life.