Gary Oldman is explaining the reasons he will forever appreciate the Harry Potter films.
The star of Slow Horses, and father to sons Alfie, Gulliver, and Charlie, along with stepson William, clarified that he landed the role of Harry Potter’s godfather, Sirius Black, following his experience as a single father. (Oldman finalized his divorce from his ex-wife, Donya Fiorentino, in 2001.)
“At 42 years old, I woke up divorced and I had custody of these boys and so that, in itself, was…” he shared on Thursday’s episode of The Drew Barrymore Show. “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.”
Barrymore went on to inform the audience that changes in filming locations worldwide were prompted by “tax reasons.”
Consequently, Oldman mentioned that he “turned down a lot of work” in order to be with his children. “Thank God for Harry Potter,” he expressed to Drew Barrymore. “I tell you, the two — Batman and Harry Potter — really 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.”
Oldman, who has been sober for 27 years, first appeared as Sirius Black in the 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He continued to portray the character in the subsequent two installments before his character met a tragic end in the 2007 film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
The Academy Award winner also played the role of Gotham City Police Department Commissioner Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. In this capacity, he commuted between Los Angeles and the filming location 27 times, ensuring he could spend time with his children during his breaks. “I’d fly in for a day, I’d do a shoot a day,” he explained. “To [Nolan’s] credit, he stayed on schedule and I would go home for three days, come back for two, go home for a weekend, come back for one day… otherwise, I just felt they’re being brought up by a nanny.”
Oldman confessed that he chose to take a more active role as a parent after being “not there all the time” for his first son, Alfie. He further explained, “I got the opportunity to have these other two kids and I thought, ‘I can’t. I’ve now been given a real gift to be the dad I imagined I could be with the first boy, Alfie, and so I’ve got a chance to repair this and switch it around.’”
He said that his “biggest accomplishment” as a parent is that his children have grown up to be “nice people.”
“My kids are not geniuses, but they’re really, really nice people,” he stated. “I think [that we need] more nice people in the world. We’ve got geniuses, we’ve done enough of them. We need really kind people. Good heart and not mean-spirited.”
In conclusion, he remarked, “I think they saved my life.”
Source: Entertainment Weekly