Gary Oldman Talks Commissioner Gordon

Gary Oldman is no stranger to movies with sequels, we loved him as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and we love him as Commissioner Gordon in the Batman Trilogy. Gary recently sat with Empire Online to do an interview about his booty-kicking role in Batman. Gary talked all about role as Commissioner Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Gary talks about all aspects of his character including an emotional scene from The Dark Knight Rises with Sir Michael Caine who plays Alfred.

On Meeting With Director Christopher Nolan To Discuss A Role n Batman Begins:

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.

On How He Ended Up Playing Jim Gordon:

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.

On Working With Actors Like Christian Bale, Tom Hardy And Michael Caine:

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.

On Acting Alongside Christian Bale As Batman:

Yeah, he’s 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.

On What We Should Expect From Christopher Nolan’s Final Batman Movie, The Dark Knight Rises:

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.

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