Actor Gary Oldman Thankful For Roles in Harry Potter and Batman, Explains How The Movies Saved Him as a Single Dad

gary oldman batman harry potter

English actor and filmmaker Gary Oldman thanked Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy and the popular “Harry Potter” franchise for saving him during his lowest point through an interview on The Drew Barrymore Show which was posted on 14 December 2023.

The 65-year-old actor, who portrayed police commissioner James “Jim” Gordon in the Batman films and Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films, recently talked on how of having such well-known roles at a time in need was really important for both his career and personal life.

“At 42 years old I woke up divorced and I had custody of [my] boys,” Oldman explained. “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.”

Production was shifted to these areas, as Barrymore clarified, for “tax reasons” that would help the budgets of film studios. After splitting from his third wife Donya Fiorentino in 2000, Oldman became a single father and started declining acting roles in order to spend more time with his children, Alfie, 35, Charlie John, 24, and Gulliver Flynn, 26.

“Thank God for ‘Harry Potter,’” the 65-year-old expressed. “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.”

The Oscar winner expressed how crucial it was to him that his two younger kids didn’t feel like they were “being brought up by a nanny.” He was so dedicated to this that, in order to spend as much time as possible with his children, he made 27 flights from London to Los Angeles during the 2005 “Batman Begins” filming.

Gary Oldman on The Drew Barrymore Show
Gary Oldman on The Drew Barrymore Show (Credits: The Drew Barrymore Show/Youtube)

Oldman and His Five Marriages

“I was really not there for [my] first boy and then I got the opportunity to have these other two kids and I thought, ‘I’ve now been given a real gift to be the dad I imagined I wanted to be or could be with the first boy, Alfie, I’ve got a chance to repair this and switch it around,’ the actor said while talking about his son Alfie Oldman, whom he had with his first wife Lesley Manville.

Oldman has had five marriages throughout his life: His first marriage, to English actress Lesley Manville, ended in divorce in 1989, not long after his son Alfie was born. In 1990, he wed Uma Thurman, and the two of them divorced two years later.

He then went on to have his second and third sons Charlie and Gulliber are with his third wife Donya Fiorentino, with whom he was together from 1997 to 2001. His fourth unsuccessful marriage began in 2008 with Alexandra Edenborough, and it ended with a divorce in 2015 due to “irreconcilable differences”.

In August 2017, he tied the knot with his current and fifth wife Gisele Schmidt, which he later revealed through a statement to the Associated Press.

Gary Oldman and Josh Horowitz for Happy Sad Confused podcast
Gary Oldman and Josh Horowitz for live taping of Happy Sad Confused podcast (Credits: @92ndstreety/Instagram)

Thankful for His Kind Children

Oldman recently admitted on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast that he feels his “work is mediocre” in the Potter films, despite having previously expressed thanks for playing Sirius Black.

The actor told his interviewer, “Maybe if I had read the books like [late co-star Alan Rickman who played Professor Severus Snape], if I had got ahead of the curve, if I had known what’s coming, I honestly think I would have played it differently.”

Oldman also discussed other adjustments on The Drew Barrymore Show which he had made to his life since the arrival of his first child, altering his outlook on life: “I’m almost 27 years sober so everything I have today is … really through sobriety.”

Despite receiving numerous nominations for Academy Awards and Emmys, as well as a great deal of respect from his colleagues, Oldman believes that raising excellent children is his greatest achievement.

He praised them for their good hearts, saying, “My kids are not geniuses, but they’re really, really nice people. I think [that we need] more nice people in the world. We’ve got geniuses, we’ve done enough of them. We need really kind people. Good heart and not mean-spirited. I think they saved my life.”


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