Christian Bale was so impressed with Gary Oldman’s Winston Churchill makeover he came to his The Dark Knight co-star for advice.
Like many film fans, Bale was stunned by Oldman’s transformation as the former British Prime Minister in new movie Darkest Hour – and reached out to his old friend after signing on to play ex-U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in new movie Backseat.
“He called me about the jowls because he said, ‘Man, that make-up is good’,” Oldman tells The Hollywood Reporter.
The Brit reveals he didn’t have to put on any weight to play Churchill, and instead chose to bulk up with a fat suit.
“I’m nearly 60,” he adds. “I didn’t want to put on 50 or 60 pounds to mess with my health like that.”
But that meant several hours in hair and make-up, before director Joe Wright and the rest of the cast turned up on set.
“I had two people working on me at the same time,” Oldman reveals. “And by the time I was ready and dressed, the crew arrived and the other actors would rehearse and I came to the set as Churchill. So Joe Wright, the director, didn’t see Gary for three months.”
But the actor loved playing the Prime Minister, who led the U.K. to victory in World War II, and developed a great fondness for him while researching the role.
“(He’s) arguably the greatest Briton that ever lived,” Gary tells the publication as part of a recent Actor Roundtable panel with Willem Dafoe, Tom Hanks, James Franco, Sam Rockwell, and John Boyega. “I came away with enormous admiration for him.
“I went to the footage, the news…, and I saw a man who was energised and had vitality. He looked like a baby, he had a cherubic face, a sort of naughty schoolboy grin with a sparkle in his eye. He was marching ahead of everyone.”