For almost 30 years Gary Oldman has been one of the most dedicated character actors working in Hollywood. Often times changing his facial features, body type and voice to fully encompass a role, Oldman -- often best in eccentric supporting roles -- has given us some extraordinary performances (though sadly he's never been nominated for an Oscar).

Oldman's devotion to his craft continues with his latest role in the post-apocalyptic thriller 'The Book of Eli.' Starring opposite Denzel Washington, he plays a crazed despot of a makeshift town who wants the book that Washington's character possesses.

But it doesn't matter if he's playing a villain, a historical figure, or doing unforgettable cameos, Oldman always stands out. Join us as we list our top 10 Gary Oldman performances.

For almost 30 years Gary Oldman has been one of the most dedicated character actors working in Hollywood. Often times changing his facial features, body type and voice to fully encompass a role, Oldman -- often best in eccentric supporting roles -- has given us some extraordinary performances (though sadly he's never been nominated for an Oscar).

Oldman's devotion to his craft continues with his latest role in the post-apocalyptic thriller 'The Book of Eli.' Starring opposite Denzel Washington, he plays a crazed despot of a makeshift town who wants the book that Washington's character possesses.

But it doesn't matter if he's playing a villain, a historical figure, or doing unforgettable cameos, Oldman always stands out. Join us as we list our top 10 Gary Oldman performances.


10. 'Batman Begins' (2005), 'The Dark Knight' (2008)
Though Gotham City is known for its freaks, Oldman's Jim Gordon is one of the more level headed characters in Christopher Nolan's reboot of the Batman franchise (it's also one of the few normal roles you can find in Oldman's filmography). First playing Gordon as a skeptical police sergeant who isn't quite sure if the Caped Crusader can be trusted in 'Batman Begins,' Oldman shows more layers to the character in 'The Dark Knight' as he fakes his death to help catch The Joker and later begs for his son's life to Two Face.


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9. 'Hannibal' (2001)
If you had no idea Oldman was in this movie don't hand in your cineaste badge just yet. Reportedly spending six hours a day in makeup, he's virtually unrecognizable as the disfigured Mason Verger in the sequel to 'The Silence of the Lambs.' A wealthy meat packer, Verger's encounter with Hannibal Lecter ended with him slicing his own face off and being paralyzed. Now he's out for revenge with the help of some very hungry pigs. Oldman takes full advantage of the creepiness of the faceless bedridden character, as you can see here.


8. 'Beat the Devil' (2002)
This was part of the popular BMW shorts series in the early 2000's -- which featured a then unknown Clive Owen driving around in a flashy Beemer and embarking on high speed adventures. For his installment, director Tony Scott called on his friend Oldman to play one of the more entertaining roles in the series. Here Owen drives James Brown to Vegas so he can renegotiate his deal with the Devil (I'll give you one guess who's playing the Prince of Darkness). Oldman has a lot of fun with the part -- donning a wig and lipstick -- and it ends with a race down the strip for the Godfather of Soul's, um ... soul. But who's harder to understand in this short, Brown or Oldman?


7. 'The Contender' (2000)
In Rob Lurie's political drama, Oldman (who also executive produced the film) received the most award season buzz he's ever gotten to this point in his career (SAG and Independent Spirit Award nominations) as Republican Congressman Shelly Runyon who digs up dirt on a senator (Joan Allen) who the President has hand picked to become his new Vice President. Oldman's chameleon like metamorphosis into the Congressman is astounding. If he ran for office tomorrow he'd have our vote.


6. 'True Romance' (1993)
Tony Scott calls on Oldman for a memorable cameo in this F-bomb filled crime thriller that helped Quentin Tarantino, who penned the script, get the money to make 'Reservoir Dogs.' In another role that you have to rewind a few times to realize it's him, Oldman plays Drexl Spivey, a white Rastafarian pimp who makes an indelible impression though he only had one scene in the whole film (who could forget the line: "You must have thought it was white boy day."). Oldman says he based the character on reggae star Willie One Blood (known best for his song 'Whiney Whiney (What Really Drives Me Crazy),' which was featured in 'Dumb and Dumber.')


5. 'Harry Potter' ['Prisoner of Azkaban' (2004), 'Goblet of Fire' (2005), 'Order of the Phoenix' (2007) ]
As Sirius Black, Oldman plays one of his more likeable roles, here as Harry's godfather. Though playing opposite many of today's top character actors in the franchise, Oldman has always stood out as Black, which made this montage all the more touching to watch.


4. 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' (1992)
Many greats have played the Count -- Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Jack Palance -- but for Francis Ford Coppola's retelling of Bram Stoker's legendary novel he needed someone who wasn't interested in highlighting the charismatic traits of the famous vampire. Enduring numerous makeup sessions to show the different forms Dracula can appear in, Oldman puts his indelible mark on a legendary character.


3. 'JFK' (1991)
In Oliver Stone's look at one of the most infamous moments in American history, Oldman embodies alleged Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald both physically and emotionally. Agreeing to take the small role because of a fantasy sequence where Oswald pleads his innocence to the camera (the scene was later cut), Oldman became a conspiracy theorist based on his research for the part. Because of Stone's dedication to shooting in the locations where the events took place, Oldman was better equipped to deliver his scenes, which were mostly improvised.


2.
'Leon the Professional' (1994)
If you like Gary Oldman playing the bad guy, this is hands down his most beloved evil role. He plays the drug-addicted, dirty cop Stansfield whose DEA unit kills a young girl's family (Natalie Portman), forcing him to deal with Leon the Professional (Jean Reno), the hit-man neighbor across the hall who befriends her. Mixing the instincts of Oldman and the words of writer-director Luc Besson, Oldman creates a despicable character who has no regard for human life, but is sure fun to watch. One word says it all: EVERYONE!!


1. 'Sid and Nancy' (1986)
In the film that put him on the map in America, a then 28-year-old Oldman becomes punk rock legend Sid Vicious before our eyes. Playing Vicious, Oldman shows us flashes of vitality, depression and love in the blink of an eye while also capturing the look of the troubled artist. In fact, Oldman lost so much weight for the part he was briefly hospitalized during filming. Did we mention he can sing, too.



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