Cap­tur­ing the ‘spark’ of Bri­tain’s great­est icon

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY COLIN COVERT Star Tri­bune (Min­neapo­lis)

Let’s be clear: That aged, portly man with a bul­bous nose, droop­ing jowls and a hair­line in full re­treat you see on­screen through­out “Dark­est Hour” is, in­deed, Gary Old­man. Yes, re­ally; even though he’s un­rec­og­niz­able.

For Old­man, who rock­eted to fame play­ing young hel­lions (the Sex Pis­tols’ crass punk bas­sist in 1986’s “Sid & Nancy” and out­ra­geous English play­wright Joe Or­ton in “Prick Up Your Ears” the fol­low­ing year), the role rep­re­sents a sea change. In di­rec­tor Joe Wright’s wartime biopic, he por­trays the most rec­og­nized, revered and im­por­tant English­man of the 20th cen­tury, Win­ston Churchill, in a per­for­mance al­ready gen­er­at­ing con­sid­er­able Os­car buzz.

In a re­cent phone call he dis­cussed the tech­ni­cal chal­lenges that re­quired him to spend 200 hours in the makeup chair, and his work to cap­ture the great man’s in­ner sub­stance for the film.

While play­ing Churchill of­fered an im­por­tant char­ac­ter and a great act­ing chal­lenge, when he was first ap­proached about the role, Old­man laughed out loud and said, “Please don’t ever bring this role to me again.”

Fo­cus Fea­tures

Kristin Scott Thomas and Gary Old­man star in “Dark­est Hour.” Old­man plays Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.