Gary Oldman in glasses against a purple backdrop Credit: ©Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/Contour

Gary Oldman on the joys of working in his sixth decade

The Hollywood actor opens up about working on TV and why actors need to be selfish to succeed.

Acclaimed actor Gary Oldman is enjoying a resurgence in his career thanks to his role as Jackson Lamb in the hit AppleTV+ series Slow Horses. Oldman has revealed that he feels fortunate to have landed the part, especially at a time when acting opportunities can become scarce.

In a recent interview with Saga Magazine, he called the show a lifesaver.

“I feel really lucky and privileged to be in work and also to be doing a series and earning a living at 66 with a bunch of people who are the nicest bunch of people you could ever hope to meet,” he said.

Slow Horses, which debuted in April 2022, has garnered critical acclaim and audience adoration. A fourth season is already in the works. Oldman, drawn to the show’s “grounded characters” despite their spy professions, is happy about the growing respect television receives within the industry.

“This incredible seismic shift has happened with television,” he observed.

“At one time, there was a sort of snobbery, you know, one was a film actor and you looked down on the people who did television. That doesn’t exist anymore.”

The Academy Award winner began his acting career in 1979 and acknowledges the toll his dedication has taken on his personal life, including four divorces.

“If you want to be good at something you have to really dedicate yourself to it, to the exclusion of everything else,” he explained. “And I found there have been relationships and all sort of things that have gone by the way”.


Thankfully, he has found happiness with his fifth wife, Gisele Schmidt, a photographer and art curator.

“I’m at a place in my life now with someone who understands, who is creative in her own right, but has been around creative people for a long time and gets me,” he said.

Despite her understanding, Oldman admits his wife still needs to adjust to his transformation during role preparation.

“When I start working on a role, she tells me I become remote; I’m there, but I’m not really,” he confessed. “I sleep a lot. I procrastinate… So, you have to be with someone who, if you are focusing on your work, or you’re closing off, or shutting down because you have to focus, has to understand that it’s not personal.”


Written by Saga Magazine