Gary Oldman Calls His ‘Harry Potter’ Performance ‘Mediocre’

Gary Oldman doesn’t consider his work as the wizard Sirius Black in three of the “Harry Potter” films among his best acting performances.

The actor told Josh Horowitz on the latest episode of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that he felt lukewarm about his performance of the villain turned hero in the film franchise based on J.K. Rowling’s book series.

“I think my work is mediocre in it,” Oldman said. “No, I do. Maybe if I had read the books like Alan [Rickman, (who plays Professor Snape)], if I’d got ahead of the curve, if I had known what’s coming, I honestly think I would have played it differently.”

Gary Oldman (Getty)

Oldman debuted as the mysterious character in the third film, “The Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004) directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Black, an animagus or shapeshifter, actually first appears to Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter as a black dog thought to be The Grim. The film sets up Black to be a big bad, as one of Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) most loyal supporters who helped kill Harry’s parents.

The actor brought up a pivotal scene in the third film in which his character’s soul gets sucked out of his body by Dementors near a frozen lake, joking that he laid on set for a week.

“It took forever,” Oldman said. “It was slow. You’d be on a scene for a week where normally you could shoot it in two days. Anyway, what they did was they built this lake inside the studio, and they cooled it down and they froze this lake, and I had to just lie there for a week, day in and day out doing nothing.”

“Day three you’d go ‘Oh my neck is killing me’ and they’d put a little pillar underneath,” Oldman continued. “They killed me off too early. I’m still upset about that. We were all taking bets. ‘It’s Hagrid,’ and I was there going ‘No no no, maybe it’s Ron,” and then you open the script and go ‘It’s me. I’m out of here.’”

Oldman also spoke lovingly of his late costar Alan Rickman, and he mentioned this role as the most frequent signature prompter for a photo.

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