Gary Oldman clarifies his opinion of his “mediocre” Sirius Black performance in Harry Potter for any fans who felt disparaged

The highly regarded actor was critical about his own work in the Harry Potter series, but he never meant to take anything away from the fans.

Last year, renowned actor Gary Oldman appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast with a humbled opinion of one of his performances. Oldman would discuss his run as the character of Sirius Black in the Harry Potter film series and gave himself a self-deprecating opinion of his portrayal. “I think my work is mediocre in it,” says Oldman. “No, I do. 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.” Oldman told Horowitz, “I’ll tell you what it is,” he says. “It’s like anything if I sat and watched myself in something and said, ‘My god, I’m amazing,’ that would be a very sad day because you want to make the next thing better.”

In a press conference given at Cannes for his new film, Parthenope, Oldman would clarify his comments for the fans who felt put off by his opinion. According to Deadline, Oldman expounded that his comments were not intended to “disparage anyone out there who are fans of Harry Potter and the films and the character who I think is much beloved.” He stated, “What I meant by that is, as any artist or any actor or painter, you are always hypercritical of your own work. If you’re not, and you’re satisfied with what you’re doing, that would be death to me. If I watched a performance of myself and thought, ‘My God, I’m fantastic in this,’ that would be a sad day.”

Oldman continued to explain, “There was such secrecy that was shrouded around the novels, they were under lock and key. And had I known from the very beginning, if I had read the five books and I had seen the arc of the character, I might have approached it differently. I may have looked at it differently and painted in a different color. So when I started Harry Potter, all I had was the book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, and that one representation of that man. One book in the library of Sirius Black. And that’s kind of what I meant by it. It’s not me looking at the movie and saying it’s a terrible film or I’m terrible, I just wish it had been under different circumstances. That’s what I meant, not to be rude to any of the people out there who like that film.”

About the Author

E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.

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