He faced some unexpected hurdles while maintaining his character in scenes alongside his co-star.
In the realm of superhero movies, Gary Oldman’s performance as Commissioner Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy has become legendary. Unexpectedly, it has been revealed that Oldman struggled to maintain his role when filming “The Dark Knight Rises” and sharing sequences with co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
It’s interesting to know that Nolan originally had a different part in mind for Oldman when thinking about the beginning of his involvement in the “Batman” film series. Oldman was first pitched a different role by Nolan, despite the fact that the filmmaker admired Oldman’s work and wanted him to participate in the movie.
In an interview with Empire (via Comic Book Movie), Oldman shared his recollection of the meeting, stating, “Chris admired and was a fan of the comic and the original conception of Batman, which was darker. So that was basically the pitch; he was saying, ‘I’m going to reinterpret it, I’m going to try and base it more in reality, there will be explanations.’ I thought it sounded fantastic.”
“Then they came in with a villain. And I was at that point where you say, ‘Oh. I can’t do that anymore ‘. I really felt I’d played all the notes that I could in terms of villains,” the actor continued.
But after seeing Nolan’s distinct portrayal of Commissioner Gordon, Oldman had a lightbulb moment and put out a candidacy. Unexpectedly, Nolan found the concept appealing and decided to cast him, saying, “I had a think, and then I said to my manager, ‘What about Jim Gordon?’ And they proposed it to [Chris] and, to his credit, he cast me. He went, ‘Oh, that’s an interesting idea.”
Oldman had the chance to interact with an accomplished ensemble cast during his time filming the Batman trilogy. Michael Caine, who played Alfred, Batman’s devoted butler, was one actor that greatly pleased him. Oldman recalled a sequence from “The Dark Knight Rises” where Caine’s spirited performance particularly moved him.
“There was one scene [on The Dark Knight Rises] where Michael, Michael Caine, had to get very emotional, and it’s almost heart-breaking, it’s almost too painful to watch. And he came in, take one: Got it. Take two: Got it. Take three: Nailed it. I mean it was like watching a masterclass in acting. I said to Christian at the time, ‘That is how it’s [frick]ing done.’ Just seeing it. No messing,” he recalled.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who joined the cast of “The Dark Knight Rises” as an honorable officer working alongside Commissioner Gordon, also made Oldman feel in awe. While praising Gordon-Levitt’s extraordinary skill, Oldman acknowledged that it occasionally interfered with his own performance.
Speaking to MTV News (via Contact Music), Oldman shared, “Someone that talented, I do these scenes with him, and you can’t put a pin through an insincere movement. It’s wonderful. You come out of character sometimes because you’re in a scene, and you find your head going, ‘Wow, he’s pretty good!’”
Even while Oldman enjoyed playing Commissioner Gordon, he was aware that his time in the role would soon conclude. Oldman had conflicting feelings following the conclusion of “The Dark Knight Rises,” feeling both relieved and a little bit depressed.
Reflecting on his last night of the shooting, Oldman shared with Moviefone (via Comic Book Movie), “So I think there’s a relief, and it’s mixed with [some sadness.] It was quite sad, my last night of shooting, to retire Jim.”
Jeffrey Wright is now playing Jim Gordon in the Batman film series, which is still strong owing to a new wave of movies starring Robert Pattinson. Despite the fact that Oldman’s run as Commissioner Gordon is over, his portrayal of the character will always hold a special place in fans’ hearts and the history of “Batman.”