Gary Oldman Sounds Off on Mel Gibson, George Clooney and More

PHOTO: Actor Gary Oldman attends the "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" during 20th Century Fox press line at WonderCon Anaheim 2014 at the Anaheim Convention Center in this April 19, 2014, file photo in Anaheim, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In a new interview with Playboy, Gary Oldman sounded off on his storied career and the many stars he's met along the way. Through expletives and laughter, here are some of the anecdotes Oldman told about his fellow celebrities -- including some controversial comments about Alec Baldwin and Mel Gibson. (Yes, he thinks they've been unfairly judged.)

Alfonso Cuarón, his "Harry Potter" director

"A great director is a great artist. I felt that way with Alfonso Cuarón on 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.' You could just tell being around him that he’s a master, partly because he isn’t afraid to say, 'I f***ed myself up over here.' I remember a scene where he was scratching his head for two days, figuring out eye lines on 11 characters. 'So we’ve got Harry and Hermione looking that way, and now we’ve got Snape, we’ve got Ron, we’ve got Sirius.' Plus he had to match the movements to the mechanical set, which had walls that were moving and breathing. He was never embarrassed to say, 'Christ, I’ve really got myself in a pickle here.' And he worked it out. I love it when a director says, 'I really don’t know the answer to that.' The thing you don’t want a director to say is 'Oh, it’s exactly how I imagined it.'"

Harrison Ford, his "Air Force One" co-star

"['Air Force One'] had some enjoyable moments. I remember the flight deck was on a sound stage and there was a big sign that said NO DRINKING, NO SMOKING AND NO EATING ON SET. At one point I looked over and Harrison was in the doorway beneath the sign with a burrito, a cigar and a cup of coffee, which I thought was hilarious. I could never get the image out of my head. Nowadays we would take out an iPhone and post something like that on Instagram."

Francis Ford Coppola, his "Dracula" director

"Francis is a hero of mine. He’s arguably the best American director but also a brilliant writer. Many people forget he won an Academy Award for the screenplay for 'Patton.' I recently watched 'The Conversation' again and couldn’t believe how it stands up. I always tell students who want to be writers or directors that first on their list of what to watch should be 'The Godfather: Part II,' because in terms of camera, lighting, cinematography, composition, production design, costume, storytelling, writing and acting, it’s flawless. It’s a master class in filmmaking from soup to nuts. We didn’t always see eye to eye on 'Dracula,' but I have enormous respect for him. He’s very forceful and lets you know exactly what he thinks."

Christopher Nolan, his "Dark Knight" director

"Chris Nolan is more about giving you really good notes. On 'The Dark Knight' he’d do a take and then say something like 'There’s a little more at stake.' Francis will shout at you during the take, 'There’s more at stake! You love her! No! Love her more than that!' He’s like D.W. Griffith."

Arthur Miller

"I remember being at a dinner many years ago in New York with Arthur Miller. I was sitting next to him. After we loosened up with a few glasses of vino, I turned to him and said, 'Do you ever walk down the street and just stop and go, ‘F***, I was married to Marilyn Monroe’?' He went, 'Yeah.'"

Demi Moore, his 'Scarlett Letter' co-star

"Demi, lovely Demi. I remain grateful," he said of her involvement in helping him get sober. "This past March was 17 years since I last had a drink."

George Clooney

"I once parked my Porsche in George Clooney’s garage while I was away. I said thank you and he said, 'It’s no inconvenience. It always makes me look good if I have two Porsches.' You know, that’s what they pay you for. But I’m not getting 'The Dark Knight' or 'Harry Potter' money, certainly. Daniel Radcliffe, now he’s got f***-you money."

Mel Gibson

"I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all f***ing hypocrites. That’s what I think about it," he said. "Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know?"

Alec Baldwin

"Alec’s a good guy," he said, while ranting about the hypocrisy he described above. "Alec calling someone [a homophobic slur] in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him. So they persecute."

David Bowie

"There are artists as well, like David Bowie, where there’s an autonomy. He recorded his most recent album and didn’t even announce he was doing it. He was in a position where he thought, Listen, I haven’t produced anything for 10 years. If this is no good, then I can just put it in a cupboard and no one need ever know. But he wrote the songs, picked the cover. I’ve always admired David. I’ve known him about 30 years. We’re friends. And David can constantly reinvent himself because he’s so talented. He has a point of view."

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