And I knew that my dad was involved somehow with the reserve team. But two weeks ago my mum said, 'Oh yeah, your dad played for Millwall. When he was young he had a couple of first team games. Theatre and early films — After leaving school, Oldman was the first in his class to receive professional work.
The play then ran in Colchester , then with Glasgow 's Citizens Theatre ;  Oldman's work ethic and trademark intensity would make him a favourite with audiences in Glasgow during the s. The following year, he landed a starring role as a skinhead in Mike Leigh 's film Meantime , and moved on to Chesterfield to assume the lead role in Entertaining Mr Sloane Joe Orton.
Afterwards, he went to Westcliffe to star in Saved Edward Bond. He twice turned down the role before accepting it, because, in his own words: I'd never followed it.
It wasn't something that interested me. The script I felt was banal and 'who cares' and 'why bother' and all of that. And I was a little bit sort-of with my nose in the air and sort-of thinking 'well the theatre — so much more superior' and all of that. On the basis of these two movies, he is the best young British actor around.
In , Oldman also starred as football hooligan Clive "Bex" Bissel in British drama The Firm , a performance which Total Film numbered as his best and called "stunning" and "fearless" in Total Film also praised the movie, calling Oldman's character "a blitz of brilliant comedy timing and pitch perfect line delivery.
According to Oldman, very little was written about Oswald in the script. Stone gave him several plane tickets, a list of contacts and told him to do his own research.
A commercially successful film adaptation of Bram Stoker 's novel ,  it was a box office success worldwide. He was considered for two roles in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction , but neither were realised. Jackson ,  while TriStar executives recommended him for drug dealer Lance portrayed by Eric Stoltz.
The Professional , he played corrupt DEA officer Norman Stansfield , which has since been named by multiple publications as one of the best villains in cinema. He portrayed another historical figure, Pontius Pilate , in Jesus Oldman was considered for the role of Morpheus in The Matrix. Oldman received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his performance. He reportedly spent six hours per day in the make-up room to achieve the character's hideously disfigured appearance.
Oldman is uncredited in the film, reportedly over a dispute regarding top billing, which was going to co-star Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore. He received an Emmy Award nomination for two guest appearances in Friends in May , appearing in the two-part episode " The One With Chandler and Monica's Wedding " as Richard Crosby, a pedantic actor who insists that "real" actors spit on one another when they enunciate, leading to tension, then friendship, with Joey Tribbiani Matt LeBlanc.
Oldman had previously worked with LeBlanc on Lost in Space. Career slump — Oldman at the San Diego Comic-Con International Following his Friends appearance, Oldman did not appear in any major roles until ; it was suggested that he was blacklisted in Hollywood during this time, owing to a controversy. Guardian writer Xan Brooks described the early s as Oldman's "low point", recalling "barrel-scraping roles" in the critically maligned films Tiptoes and Sin.
Lisa Nesselson in Variety described his work as "astonishingly fine",  and the performance was later mentioned in Mark Kermode 's "Great Acting in Bad Films". The following year, he starred as James Gordon in Christopher Nolan 's commercially and critically successful Batman Begins , a role that he reprised in the even more successful sequel The Dark Knight and once more in the conclusion, The Dark Knight Rises Prominent film critic Mark Kermode , in reviewing The Dark Knight, downplayed claims that Heath Ledger 's Joker was the highlight of the film, saying, "the best performance in the film, by a mile, is Gary Oldman's In addition, he was chosen by Screened , and W Magazine for giving one of the best performances of To prepare for the role of George Smiley, Gary Oldman gained 15 pounds by eating a lot of treacle sponge and custard to "put on a bit of middle-aged tummy".