Hollywood legend Gary Oldman back at old college
PUBLISHED: 07:30 26 February 2019
© Robert Workman
Movie icon Gary Oldman was at his former Sidcup college to give a student talk in the hope of inspiring some Hollywood aspirations.
He returned to the Rose Bruford College to deliver what was called an entertaining and thought-provoking conversation with film producer, collaborator and friend Douglas Urbanski.
The actor has appeared in classics like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, plus Darkest Hour and Batman.
Oldman, also known as a writer and producer gave a fascinating insight into his career.
Reminiscing about his time studying at the college in the 1970s and how his training helped shape his career, Oldman explained that he got his break into the industry through determination and hard work, having written to countless agents and casting directors.
Two students, among the 300-strong audience in The Rose Theatre, already have the passion for performance.
One was 21-year-old final year BA (Hons) acting student Marie-Claire Wood. She is rehearsing her role as Ava in the upcoming college production of Suicide at Stratford Circus Arts Centre.
She said: “Gary stressed the importance of discipline, imagination and hard work as lessons he had first learnt at Rose Bruford College that stayed with him throughout his career.
“As I enter the industry it’s encouraging to hear someone tell us not to be shy in contributing, but instead to be driven and involved in our work.”
Oldman’s journey from “a lad from New Cross who was told he’d only ever play Puck” to becoming a successful Hollywood actor resonated with 20-year-old acting foundation student Yadel Gebeyehu.
He said: “I’ve learnt from Gary that if you want to have success and last in the industry, you have to want it more than anything. Coming from a similar background, his closing words of ‘if I can do it, so can you’ were truly inspirational.”
College principal Clarie Middleton, who hosted the visit, said afterwards: “Hearing how passionate Gary is about the craft of acting and how he still applies his training from the college will, I’ve no doubt, strike a chord with our students for years to come.”