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Oscars 2018: Gary Oldman Wins Best Actor

Gary Oldman’s Oscar win on Sunday for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” is a triumph for a versatile actor more used to playing villains and rogues than heroic statesmen.

He bested a crowded field that included Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”) and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq”).

British actor Gary Oldman delivers a speech after he won the Oscar for Best Actor in “Darkest Hour” during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Ralston

The 59-year-old British actor, who famously portrayed Sex Pistols star Sid Vicious in “Sid and Nancy” (1986), made his name as a bankable movie star playing antagonists.

He goes to great lengths to develop his characters and ploughed through books, newsreel footage and even sat in Churchill’s chair to play the World War II leader as he became Britain’s prime minister in May 1940.

Oldman is known for his signature “big” acting — a very physical, over-the-top style developed for the stage, used to great effect for his villainous cinema characters and retained for other roles.

His portrayal of Churchill in “Darkest Hour” had already landed him the best actor Golden Globe — and the Oscar, which comes on his second nomination, now seals his reputation as one of the finest actors working today.

“I would just like to salute Sir Winston Churchill, who has been marvelous company on what can be described as an incredible journey,” Oldman told the Oscars audience on Sunday.

Previously, he had said he welcomed all the accolades, but that the greatest reward was receiving approval from Churchill’s descendants.

“Randolph just loves the portrayal. And he feels, ‘Oh, you’ve captured my great-grandpapa — the humour, the energy’.

“That’s my Oscar, right there,” he told CNN.

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