Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman portrayed James Gordon in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

Significant rolesEdit

  • Daniel in Remembrance (1982)
  • Coxy in Meantime (1984)
  • Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986)
  • Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
  • Martin in Track 29 (1988)
  • Ben Chase in Criminal Law (1988)
  • Johnny in We Think the World of You (1988)
  • Emmett Foley in Chattahoochee (1989)
  • Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz & Guildestern Are Dead (1990)
  • Jackie Flannery in State of Grace (1990)
  • Pop in Henry & June (1990)
  • Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK (1991)
  • Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
  • Drexl Spivey in True Romance (1993)
  • Jack Grimaldi in Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)
  • Stansfield in Léon (1994)
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved (1994)
  • Milton Glenn in Murder in the First (1995)
  • Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter (1995)
  • Albert Milo in Basquiat (1996)
  • Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element (1997)
  • Ivan Korshunov in Air Force One (1997)
  • Dr. Zachary Smith in Lost in Space (1998)
  • Pontius Pilate in Jesus (1999)
  • Shelly Runyon in The Contender (2000)
  • Buford Dill in Nobody's Baby (2001)
  • Mason Verger in Hannibal (2001)
  • O.W. Grant in Interstate 60 (2002)
  • The Devil in Beat the Devil (2002)
  • Rolfe in Tiptoes (2003)
  • Charlie Strom in Sin (2003)
  • Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
  • James Gordon in Batman Begins (2005)
  • Lynch in Dead Fish (2005)
  • Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
  • Paul in The Blackwoods (2006)
  • Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
  • James Gordon in The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Rabbi Sendak in The Unborn (2009)
  • Bob Cratchit / Marley / Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (2009)
  • General Grawl in Planet 51 (2009)
  • Carnegie in The Book of Eli (2010)
  • Elvis in Guns, Girls and Gambling (2011)
  • Father Solomon in Red Riding Hood (2011)
  • Lord Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
  • Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (2011)
  • George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)
  • James Gordon in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  • Floyd Banner in Lawless (2012)
  • Dreyfus In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)


  • "Well, without going into the plot or going beat by beat, there's more, I guess, an emotional arc with this one and this big, big scene that I have in the finale with Two-Face. I'm better used in this one. (Laughs)"
  • "Well, it's evolved and it's developed, but the official policy is to arrest Batman. So there's still that element there. I'm dealing with this vigilante who's running around dressed as a bat."
  • "Oh, I trust him, I think. Yeah. I mean, in that sense it has developed and he's an ally, but there's a tension there. There's an underlying kind of tension there because of what he does and who he is."
  • "Well, he becomes the D.A. and then he's another, I wouldn't say, wild card, but I mean he's another headstrong character, another character, a real character in that sense to deal with."
  • "Yeah, and that he's like (Batman). He's as headstrong and stubborn as you are. So I've got Batman on this side and I've got Harvey Dent on this side. It's tough policing this city."
  • "You know what, I think that all along with this, Chris has tried to root the thing in some reality, and you know where the franchise ended up, and so he wanted to make it more realistic given the framework that it's "Batman". He wanted it to be more realistic and darker and edgier rather like the comic book, and so the inspiration for The Joker is punk, which explains the colored clothes and so it is very sort of Johnny Rotten, very punk. The smile and the scars from a razor and he's got like a sort of rinse, a green rinse that remains there in his hair, and so you look at him and he's very forbidding and not like a clown. It's very dangerous, very unhinged. It's like Coco the Clown on crack."
  • "It's a great, great story. You look at The Dark Knight and you think, 'How's he going to top it?' But I think he has."
  • "The scope and also the way he brings it back to Batman Begins, and really what Bruce Wayne discovers about himself. What he learns about himself at the end of this one."
  • "There’s an emotional scene coming up in the next Batman, which I am obviously, absolutely sworn to secrecy about… They would kill me. Well, I’d do the press junket and then they’d kill me."
  • "Watching Michael Caine work, as Alfred, was a great lesson for me. Just focus, concentration. He has this emotional scene. I’m kidding you not. It was tears and the whole thing. And it’s ‘Take 1.’ (Oldman snaps his fingers) He got it. ‘Take 2′ (snaps his fingers again), Got it. Take 3 (snaps his fingers) Got it. He’s just on the money. Every single time. It’s just extraordinary… You get inspired by it."
  • "I never had a meeting with him about Jim Gordon. We'd met for a cup of coffee at the 101 Café in Hollywood and he was talking about his reinterpretation of Batman and his life through the comic and where it had travelled, really. From Tim Burton to... absolute shite. I mean, the last movie, whatever it was in the franchise, the early franchise with Mr Freeze, they should take that can of film and blow it up! Chris admired and was a fan of the comic and the original conception of Batman, which was darker. So that was basically the pitch, he was saying, 'I'm going to reinterpret it, I'm going to try and base it more in reality, there will be explanations'. I thought it sounded fantastic. Then they came in with a villain. And I was at that point where you say, "Oh. I can't do that anymore". I really felt I'd played all the notes that I could in terms of villains."
  • "I had a think, and then I said to my manager, "What about Jim Gordon?" And they proposed it to [Chris] and, to his credit, he cast me. He went, "Oh that's an interesting idea". And you really get thrown into the deep end. We had a conversation over the phone, we did the deal, the dates were ready for when I'd fly to England. The first day we got to a set - a night shoot - it was me getting out of a cop car on the dock, looking up at the round-up of villains, not knowing who the hell had rounded them up. We did the first rehearsal and he said, "Oh, OK, so you're playing him like that." "Yeah." And he went, "Huh. OK. All right. Take?" And I went, "Yeah." And we did a take and he went, "Very nice. OK. Do you want another one?" And I said, "Well, I've come all this way." He went, "Alright, do another one." We did take two and he went, "Terrific. OK, moving on..." [laughs]. I think sometimes people want it to be far more complex and important and you go, "No, it's as simple as getting off a plane having done your work - or hoping that you've done your work - and walking on a set in front of a camera". There's no rehearsal, there's no whistles and bells and frills. It's just, you know, it's guerilla. You jump out of the helicopter and you're in the battle."
  • "Christian... I've never really talked to him about it. I've always really got to the set and I mean he's always ready. I just noticed with Tom that he sort of has to bounce it around a bit. And of course Michael! There was one scene [on The Dark Knight Rises] where Michael, Michael Caine, had to get very emotional and it's almost heart-breaking, it's almost too painful to watch. And he came in, take one: Got it. Take two: Got it. Take three: Nailed it. I mean it was like watching a masterclass in acting. I said to Christian at the time, "That is how it's [frick]ing done." Just seeing it. No messing."
  • "Yeah, Christian is rather formidable and he's rather scary in those scenes. In the flesh. It always struck me that it's one of those costumes, it plays well on screen but in person it works, too. He's not Method but he gets there, and when he's Batman he keeps that vocal quality. He keeps it in that register. He can have a laugh, it does make him get a bit silly, and that's Christian's way of surviving, that he can come out of character and make jokes. I think that keeps him sane. And we were using summer for winter so we were standing there in overcoats and scarves and gloves and it's snowing and it's 105 degrees and he's in that suit... It is weird; I don't see Christian, I come in and I meet him on set as Batman."
  • "Well this is truly... Epic. You know those Fast And Furious movies where they drive at one speed, then they hit that button? And they put the octane or the gas into the engine and they seem to drive at hyperspeed? This is Chris hitting the button. This is the Fast And Furious version. It is a truly epic conclusion to the whole thing, and I don't mean that in a gratuitous way."
  • "I’m sure he’s going to be fabulous. Go back to the comic books. That’s what I did. There’s great stuff about Gordon. He had whole other life."
  • "They want to keep it going. Of course they do. But, it’s Superman yeah? Batman and Superman together? We shall see. The thing about Nolan, there was some grounding of reality to it. In our trilogy, and as fantastical and as big as The Joker was, it was based on reality… we could relate to it. But now we’ve got a Batman and we’ve got a guy who can fly who’s an alien?! We’ll have to see…It’s got big shoes to fill."
  • "The thing you’ve just got to get used to with Gordon is he’s a really sound detective, first of all. And he’s really incorruptible, which is a kind of wonderful quality to play and sort of, like, true blue. He’s like a Watson, oddly. He’s sort of like Watson to Sherlock, is Gordon to Batman."


Gary was once married to Batman & Robin star Uma Thurman.

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