Well, on the positive side, Gary Oldman seems to have known articles like this one were coming.
In promotion for Dawn of the Planet for the Apes, Oldman gave a long interview to Playboy, where he discussed past film roles (most of them he thought he could do better—yes, even Dracula), the ways in which Hollywood has changed, his marriages, and the many directors he’s worked with.
The interview is a fascinating read. Unfortunately, though, many of his thoughtful responses will be overshadowed by his comments toward the end of the extensive Q&A, in which he defended Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirade and took on the hypocrisy of Hollywood.
PLAYBOY: What do you think about what [Mel Gibson]’s gone through these past few years?
OLDMAN: [Fidgets in his seat] I just think political correctness is crap. That’s what I think about it. I think it’s like, take a f–king joke. … No one can take a joke anymore.
I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all fucking hypocrites. That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n—– or that f–king Jew? I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say “the N word” and “the F word,” though there are two F words now.
PLAYBOY: The three-letter one?
OLDMAN: Alec calling someone an F-A-G in the street while he’s pissed off coming out of his building because they won’t leave him alone. I don’t blame him. So they persecute. Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That f–king kraut” or “Fuck those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?” [smiles wryly] All right. Shall I stop talking now? What else can we discuss?
PLAYBOY: What do you think of the pope?
OLDMAN: Oh, f–k the pope! [laughs and puts head in hands] So this interview has gone very badly. You have to edit and cut half of what I’ve said, because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot.
PLAYBOY: You’re not a bigot?
OLDMAN: No, but I’m defending all the wrong people. I’m saying Mel’s all right, Alec’s a good guy. So how do I come across? Angry?
It’s a little questionable, to say the least, to assert that “We’ve all said those things.”
But Oldman didn’t stop there. The interviewer, David Hochman, notes that Oldman seemed to have more on his mind he’d like to say (sample: “At the Oscars, if you didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave you were a racist”). And, in fact, he did.
OLDMAN: More and more, people in this culture are able to hide behind comedy and satire to say things we can’t ordinarily say, because it’s all too politically correct.
PLAYBOY: Do you have something in mind?
OLDMAN: Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a c–t—and I’ll go one better, a fucking useless c–t—I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a f– and get away with it. He said to Seth MacFarlane this year, “I thought you were going to do the Oscars again. Instead they got a lesbian.” He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, “You fag”? I don’t get it.
PLAYBOY: You see it as a double standard.
OLDMAN: It’s our culture now, absolutely. At the Oscars, if you didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave you were a racist. You have to be very careful about what you say. I do have particular views and opinions that most of this town doesn’t share, but it’s not like I’m a fascist or a racist. There’s nothing like that in my history.
In case you’re wondering, Oldman did, of course, have even more thoughts to share—about Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hillary Clinton, the Golden Globes (“It’s a meaningless event … It’s 90 nobodies having a wank”), and the politics of being a modern-day celebrity. Read the full Q&A with Playboy here.