Gary Oldman Calls His ‘Harry Potter’ Performance ‘Mediocre’: “If I Had Read the Books…”

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Sirius Black is one of the fan-favorite characters of the Harry Potter franchise, despite actually having little screen time compared to some other prominent characters. The love for Black comes from ‘Harry Potter’ fans who read the books – and those who really cherish and appreciate the performance that Gary Oldman had given us as Sirius.

However, Gary Oldman himself isn’t a big fan of his performance as Sirius Black. He debuted in the role in 2004’s ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ and absolutely nailed it in the eyes of fans. In his own opinion, however, he could’ve done a lot better. Speaking on the ‘Happy Sad Confused’ podcast recently, Oldman called his performance in the franchise ‘mediocre’:

“I think my work is mediocre in it. No, I do. Maybe if I had read the books like Alan [Rickman], if I had got ahead of the curve, if I had known what’s coming, I honestly think I would have played it differently.”

Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise for Oldman and for us as fans because his performance as Sirius always felt natural, charismatic, and perfectly on the mark. Had he read the books like Alan Rickman, who portrayed yet another fan-favorite character in Severus Snape, maybe his performance wouldn’t have felt so inspired.

The fact is, Oldman never really likes to praise his work, believing that an actor should always strive for improvement:

“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.”

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And, it’s not like Gary isn’t aware of just how important Sirius Black was not just for fans but for himself, too. He addressed his ‘Harry Potter’ role just recently on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show,’ where he expressed gratitude for both the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ franchises that essentially ‘saved him’:

“At 42 years old, I woke up divorced, and I had custody of [my] boys. That, in itself, was… that was hard because there was a shift in the industry where a lot of productions were being [filmed in] Hungary, Budapest, Prague, Australia, you know, all of these places. So, I turned down a lot of work.

Thank God for ‘Harry Potter.’ Thank God for ‘Harry Potter.’ I tell you, the two — ‘Batman’ and ‘Harry Potter’ — really, they saved me because it meant that I could do the least amount of work for the most amount of money and then be home with the kids.”

Not only that – despite having prominent roles before the two we just mentioned, his roles as Sirius Black and James Gordon really pushed Oldman into superstardom. Thankfully so, because he still remains one of the greatest living actors in the world.

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