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Gary Oldman Opens Up: Reflecting on a ‘Mediocre’ Sirius Black in the Harry Potter Saga

Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman (Credits: Screen Rant)

Gary Oldman didn’t find satisfaction in his portrayal of Sirius Black. The 65-year-old actor, currently starring in the third season of his Apple TV+ series Slow Horses, openly critiqued his performance in the Harry Potter franchise during a recent episode of Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast. Expressing his dissatisfaction, the Oscar winner described his rendition of the beloved character as “mediocre.”

Oldman reflected on his approach to the role, admitting, “I think my work is mediocre in it.” He went on to speculate that reading J.K. Rowling’s original books before taking on the role might have influenced his portrayal differently, echoing the approach of his late co-star, Alan Rickman.

Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman (Credits: Looper)

On the podcast, Oldman remarked, “Maybe if I had read the books like Alan, if I had got ahead of the curve, if I had known what’s coming, I honestly think I would have played it differently.”

Having joined the franchise in 2004 as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Oldman reprised the role in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, with a cameo appearance in the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Despite his self-criticism, Oldman shared his gratitude for the opportunities the Harry Potter franchise and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy provided. In a recent interview on Drew Barrymore’s talk show, Oldman disclosed how these projects had a positive impact on his personal life.

Having become a single father in 2000, Oldman turned down opportunities to spend time with his children—Alfie, 35, Charlie John, 24, and Gulliver Flynn, 26. Reflecting on this period, he told Barrymore, “Thank God for Harry Potter. I tell you, the two — Batman and Harry Potter — really, they saved me because it meant that I could do the least amount of work for the most amount of money and then be home with the kids.”

Opening up about the challenges of single parenthood, Oldman explained, “At 42 years old, I woke up divorced, and I had custody of these boys, and so that, in itself, was… That was hard because there was a shift in the industry where a lot of productions were being [filmed in] — it was Hungary, Budapest, Prague, Australia, you know, all of these places.” Despite the distance, Oldman made 27 round trips between the Dark Knight trilogy films’ production in London and his home in Los Angeles to prioritize time with his children.

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