Gary Oldman writes up Coppola across the pond

Posted by · 12:10 pm · September 15th, 2011

Here’s a nice change of pace. On the occasion of the UK opening of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” London’s Telegraph newspaper has commissioned actor Gary Oldman for his thoughts on director Francis Ford Coppola. It’s kind of random, though. Yeah, Oldman starred in Coppola’s 1992 film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” but there’s no real connection otherwise. Coppola has “Twixt” at Toronto right now, so there’s that, but whatever, I’m not complaining. It’s always nice to get this kind of perspective from an actor. Here’s a taste:

For me, Apocalypse Now is the peak of his career. So much so that I used a bit of it when I directed Nil By Mouth [1997] — that sequence when Dennis Hopper goes to Willard, who is Kurtz’s captive, and starts telling him about Kurtz (“What are they gonna say? That he was a kind man? That he was a wise man?”). Francis gave me that footage for free, which was very kind of him.

On working with the director:

It was quite something working with him [on Dracula], though I got the feeling that I wasn’t quite working with the same man who had made Apocalypse Now.

How does he deal with actors? He’s collaborative. Unusually for a movie, we had a rehearsal period — about four weeks at his vineyard in northern California. He’s opera, a big character. He’d cook us food, and there’d be lots of wine.

Francis likes to do a lot of takes, which I like, too — I don’t find it trying at all. Tomas [Alfredson, director of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy] likes to get it in one or two, which at times I found a little frustrating, but you have to find the rhythm of how people work. And I would say to Tomas. ‘At least give me three.’ So we made a deal.

More at The Telegraph.

[Photo: Universal Pictures]

→ 11 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

11 responses so far

  • 1 9-15-2011 at 12:18 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    I find it strange that the byline says Marc Lee when Gary Oldman wrote essentially every word of that piece.

  • 2 9-15-2011 at 12:23 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah I did, too. I had to double back and make sure I read it correctly. Probably something with their back-end that needs a byline that’s in the system or something.

  • 3 9-15-2011 at 12:37 pm

    No H Jon said...

    Marc Lee also says that De Niro won Best Actor for Godfather 2, when, in fact, he won Best Supporting Actor.

  • 4 9-15-2011 at 12:54 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Jon – Going back to my comment it looks like Gary Oldman wrote that and not Marc Lee.

  • 5 9-15-2011 at 1:12 pm

    tony rock said...

    Can someone explain what happened to Coppola? He went from directing seminal epic masterpieces to these messy, quasi-experimental indies.

  • 6 9-15-2011 at 1:29 pm

    Rashad said...

    Watched Dracula again last night, and still love it.

  • 7 9-15-2011 at 1:42 pm

    Fitz said...

    Not to look at this as Oscar marketing, but if it was Oldman comes across looking very good after this.

    He seems like a gentleman. Kind words for a director that could use them after ‘Twixt’.

  • 8 9-15-2011 at 1:57 pm

    /3rtfull said...

    Yeah, Oldman starred in Coppola’s 1992 film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” but there’s no real connection otherwise.

    That’s all he needs.

    I love Bram Storker’s Dracula. There are three major faults with the movie: Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins, and the MPAA demanding cuts both one can visually notice and feel in its final release form.

  • 9 9-15-2011 at 3:57 pm

    Rashad said...

    Whoa. Keanu and Hopkins make the movie. It’s all so operatic, operating on a Burton-like level and the camp that comes with it fit right in all the way. Hopkins’ deliveries are hilarious. Like when Ryder asks how Lucy died:

    I wouldn’t want anyone else in those roles

  • 10 9-15-2011 at 4:09 pm

    /3rtfull said...

    Reeves is there for sex appeal only. The period film I found him sexy in is Much Ado About Nothing. Liam Neeson was initially considered for the Hopkins’ role.

  • 11 10-23-2011 at 7:17 pm

    Destiny said...

    I actually found this more entetarinnig than James Joyce.