The many faces of Gary Oldman

This week in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the mercurial actor has long had a rep for changing it up.

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  • SID AND NANCY (1986)
    Oldman's breakthrough in America came via this controversial punk romance, in which he played the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious to Chloe Webb's Nancy Spungen.

  • PRICK UP YOUR EARS (1987)
    The bedrock of the actor's critical reputation, Stephen Frears' esteemed drama had Oldman embodying gay playwright Joe Orton, growing confident and cocky with success.

  • TRACK 29 (1988)
    As the bizarre, infantile Martin, Oldman went step for step with adventurous director Nicolas Roeg (The Man Who Fell to Earth) in this skewed psychodrama.

  • THE FIRM (1989)
    Alternately ferocious and concentrated, the star's performance in Alan Clarke's soccer-hooligan portrait infused raw energy into British kitchen-sink miserablism.

  • JFK (1991)
    Oliver Stone was looking to shift the blame with his conspiracy thriller and by casting Oldman as an unusually sympathetic Lee Harvey Oswald, he found the right guy.

  • BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992)
    If Oldman didn't quite become a megacelebrity after Francis Ford Coppola's horror film, it was because the actor's transformation (into a wrinkled bloodsucker) was so total.

  • TRUE ROMANCE (1993)
    One of the performer's more hilarious turns, Oldman's unlucky low-life pimp---complete with white-guy dreads---is the character that motivates the film's entire plot.

  • ROMEO IS BLEEDING (1993)
    As a corrupt NYC cop tangling with the mob, Oldman lets us in to the attitude of someone who thinks he has all the angles covered. He doesn't.

  • THE CONTENDER (2000)
    The Clinton era was coming to an end and Oldman was the face of the opposition: a Henry Hyde--like Republican congressmen who jeopardizes a vice-president candidate's chances with salacious info.

  • HANNIBAL (2001)
    The film was bound to be excruciating, but it was almost impossible to look at Oldman's Mason Verger, a ravaged victim-turned-villain set on payback against the title character.

SID AND NANCY (1986)
Oldman's breakthrough in America came via this controversial punk romance, in which he played the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious to Chloe Webb's Nancy Spungen.

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