UPDATED with videos: Gary Oldman wrapped up a wall-to-wall run as the Oscar favorite for Best Actor with a victory for playing Winston Churchill in Focus Features’ Darkest Hour on Sunday at the 90th Academy Awards. It was his first Oscar after being nominated only once before — for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in 2012.
Goldman spent more than 200 hours in the makeup chair to become the iconic British Prime Minister, saying it this was his most physically challenging role of his 36-year career. “I would like to salute Sir Winston Church who has been remarkable company on what has been an extraordinary journey,” he during his acceptance speech (watch it in full above).
Darkest Hour garnered six Oscar noms including Best Picture and won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling earlier tonight for work in turning Oldman into the spitting image Churchill. He took it from there in the pic directed by Joe Wright from a script by Anthony McCarten, which takes place over the first five weeks of Churchill’s time taking over as Prime Minister when Hitler began his invasion of Europe.
To get the remarkable cadence of Churchill’s speech and demeanor, Oldman studied old news reel footage and read clippings to prepare for the role. There was no dearth of information about him as Churchill wrote 50 books himself and there are 800 about him.
Darkest Hour was produced by Douglas Urbanski, Lisa Bruce and McCarten, and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
Said Oldman to wrap his speech, thanking his 99-year-old mother who was watching from home: “Put the kettle on — I’m bringing Oscar.”
Here’s Oldman backstage after his victory: