Gary Oldman: Modern world has parallels with Winston Churchill era

Gary Oldman has warned the world may be in an “eye of the storm” similar to the one British Prime Minister Winston Churchill warned about ahead of the Second World War.

The actor, 59, is playing the wartime Prime Minister in Darkest Hour, by Atonement director Joe Wright.

Oldman said he can see similarities between now and when Churchill was warning of Adolf Hitler’s danger to the world while others wanted to appease him.

“He’d seen this pattern and (war) was unthinkable because of the cost of life, the financial burden that it would put on Europe and then the depression,” he told the Press Association.

“War was not very popular, but I think he (Churchill) was not just a great statesman but somewhat a prophet.

“Maybe we’re in that lull, maybe we’ve been in another eye of the storm.”

Speaking at a premiere for the movie at Toronto International Film Festival, he added that Wright was not intending to make a film commenting on the contemporary world “but if it reflects on our current situation then that’s good”.

Kristin Scott Thomas, 57, plays the politician’s wife Clementine, whose influence, she said, was overshadowed by the behemoth of Churchill’s legacy.

She said: “I think she was incredibly supportive, I think she was quite influential, I think she managed to keep him on the path that he had chosen.

“I think she was a very strong woman when he needed somebody strong to back him up.

“She was an extraordinary woman who deserves her own story.”

Wright, 45, said he wanted to remove Churchill from the “plinth” he is held upon and to instead examine what he was really like.

“He’s often portrayed as this big grumpy lump and actually I find him to be incredibly witty and very light on his feet,” he said.

:: The Darkest Hour is out in UK cinemas on January 12.


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