Gary Oldman has had a long illustrious career. He's played everything from slimy bad guy with questionable taste in head gear (The Fifth Element) to espionage veteran (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) to Harry Potter's godfather.
But behind that veneer of austerity apparently lurks a PR nightmare. Oldman recently sat down with Playboy for an interview — you can read the whole thing here — and around page four everything starts to unravel. The spiral of terrible soundbites accelerates until I can only imagine Oldman's people were practically vibrating with the suppressed urge to body slam him to the ground with soothing whispers of "Shhhhhhh, just stop talking."
"How bad could it be?" I hear you ask. Judge for yourself. Presented virtually without comment, here are the choicest bits in their full, unedited glory.
"I just think political correctness is crap. That’s what I think about it. I think it’s like, take a fucking joke. Get over it."
"I don’t know about Mel [Gibson]. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n****r or that fucking Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say “the N word” and “the F word,” though there are two F words now."
"Alec [Baldwin] calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him. So they persecute. Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That fucking kraut” or “Fuck those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?” All right. Shall I stop talking now? What else can we discuss?"
"Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a c*nt—and I’ll go one better, a fucking useless c*nt—I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a fag and get away with it. He said to Seth MacFarlane this year, “I thought you were going to do the Oscars again. Instead they got a lesbian.” He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, “You fag”? I don’t get it."
"It’s our culture now, absolutely. At the Oscars, if you didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave you were a racist. You have to be very careful about what you say. I do have particular views and opinions that most of this town doesn’t share, but it’s not like I’m a fascist or a racist. There’s nothing like that in my history."
"What people don’t realize is that you need to work at being a celebrity. I’m not talking about movies. I mean the other side of it. You have to campaign. It’s a whole other part of your career, and I wish I could have navigated it a bit better. I may have an Oscar now, had I."
And now, an artistic representation of Gary Oldman's publicist today.