A man like Gary Oldman who’s career has been long lasting and quite productive shares his thoughts with Empire. On Empire, Gary Oldman talks about his time being the infamous Commissioner Gordon and his experience on the set with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale:
My experience with him (Nolan) has been that. I think perhaps if I’d done something that he didn’t like, he might have said, “Make it more like this,” but he trusts the people he casts. He has a great deal of trust, and he expects you to do the work. You’ve got to turn up ready and prepared; he has no truck with people who are not ready. It’s not that he’s a bully, he’s not a screamer. I’ve never actually heard him raise his voice to anyone. It’s not that he completely leaves you alone, either. You’ll do a take and he might step in and say, “There’s a little more urgency to this, there’s a little more at stake,” or “Pull back off on this a bit because remember you’ve got this scene and this scene coming up, so give me a different colour here that you can play later”. He tweaks and nudges rather than tell you how to do it.
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.
This is similar to Chris Judge, star from Stargate, who plays a mercenary for Bane. Judge commented on Nolan’s directing and his faith on the actor’s ability to portray their characters. The pressure to get a scene right the first time was a lot of pressure, but as an actor you push yourself to get the mood and the scene right. Oldman addresses how Nolan will continue to push you in the right direction to get the scene. The man is a genius as a director to pick excellent actors! Christian Bale who stars as Batman alongside Commissioner Gordon to save Gotham’s soul from the militant Bane played by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises, Oldman sheds light on the actor:
I’ve always really got to the set and I mean he’s (Bale) 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: Nailedit. I mean it was like watching a masterclass in acting. I said to Christian at the time, “That is how it’s fucking done.” Just seeing it. No messing.
Oldman commented on Michael Caine’s emotional scene in The Dark Knight Rises. This statement verifies how all the actors are well trained to pull off such an emotional roller coaster of a movie. The movie must demand a lot from all the actors including Anne Hathaway who plays the ambiguous Catwoman. Christopher Nolan brings a fine cast up to bat for the finale of the Batman trilogy. As Oldman reminisces about the experience on the set of The Dark Knight Rises, he comments about the ending feeling and the continuation of his career with other actors:
I think when you’re into something like this and you don’t know if there’s going to be a third – for instance, when we made Dark Knight we didn’t know for sure there’d be a third – you go about your life; it’s not something that you’re constantly thinking about. But once you’re there back with all the people again it’s like a reunion. There’s all the same old people, the same old camera crew, the same old Wally [Pfister, cinematographer], there’s the make-up people and you just sort of get back into the swing of it and it’s just great to see everyone. So that’s a bit bad, that we won’t all get together again – or certainly not in that way. I may end up working with Chris again and I may end up working with Christian and Michael or any one of them, but it will be in a different situation. When you like something and you enjoy something you want it to go on. But it’s all got to end sometime.
Gary Oldman gives us a true nostalgic interview explaining his experience with director, Christopher Nolan and with the other actors. The Dark Knight Rises will come out July 20th.