Academy Award-Winning ‘Harry Potter’ Star Calls His Performance “Mediocre,” Didn’t Read the Books

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A healthy-looking Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) in 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'

Credit: Warner Bros

Gary Oldman, Academy Award-winning actor and star of the Harry Potter film franchise, is not particularly impressed with his performance as Sirius Black, calling it “mediocre.” Despite the character being a fan-favorite and a deeply pivotal character for the series, Oldman seems to feel that he basically kind of phoned it in.

Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) with their wands ready
Credit: Warner Bros

In a recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Gary Oldman revealed that not only did he feel his performance was somewhat tepid on an artistic level, but he had not actually read the books before performing.

Oldman said, “I think my work is mediocre in it,” Oldman claims. “No, I do. Maybe if I had read the books like Alan [Rickman, who portrayed 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.”

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The Darkest Hour (2017) star continued, revealing that he felt it was not uncommon for him to be dissatisfied with a performance, saying, “I’ll tell you what it is. 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.”

Gary Oldman as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Credit: Warner Bros

Gary Oldman portrayed Sirius Black in four Harry Potter films: The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), The Goblet of Fire (2005), The Order of the Phoenix (2007), and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011). Initially presented as a villainous figure who had betrayed Harry’s (Daniel Radcliffe) parents, the series revealed Black as a tragic heroic figure who eventually serves as a mentor figure and becomes beloved by fans.

While fans enjoyed his performance as Sirius Black, Gary Oldman appears to mostly have appreciated his role in one of the biggest film franchises of all time because he didn’t have to put a whole lot of effort into it.

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Speaking on The Drew Barrymore Show, Goldman said that he owed his continued career to Harry Potter and Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy, largely because he didn’t have to do all that much. He revealed, “Thank God for Harry Potter…The two, Batman and Harry Potter, really 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.”

Regardless of how Gary Oldman feels about it, he did manage to portray a character on screen that connected with fans and has become part of a modern fantasy classic. He can be proud of that, at least.

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordon in the Dark Knight Trilogy
Credit: Warner Bros.

What do you think of Gary Oldman as Sirius Black in Harry Potter? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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