UPDATED with video: In his epic film Darkest Hour, Gary Oldman plays one of the world’s greatest statesmen, Winston Churchill, who rallied World War II Great Britain with a stirring speech to Parliament that noted, “We shall fight on the beaches.” It was an inspirational moment that recharged the dispirited Brits, who had suffered a devastating defeat at Dunkirk and watched morosely as Hitler closed in on the country.
Accepting his Best Actor, Motion Picture, Drama award at the Golden Globes, Oldman acknowledged the import of that speech and its application to today’s world. “It was great that words and actions could change the world – and boy, oh boy, could it use some change (now). Thank you, Winston Churchill.”
Oldman triumphed over an elite field of actors to cop the award, and admitted that he was “humbled and surprised” to be summoned to the stage. During his thank-you’s, he acknowledged Kristin Scott Thomas, who portrayed his wife in the film, for “putting up with those awful cigars,” a Churchill trademark. He also took the time to thank the “magnificent makeup team – your artistry has no equal,” noting how his remarkable transformation into the spitting image of Churchill took 63 makeup applications.
He also injected a note of humor in thanks to his wife, who said she goes to bed with Winston Churchill and wakes up with Gary Oldman. “Which, I suppose, is better than the other way around.”
Other nominees in the category included Timothee Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name; Sir Daniel Day-Lewis for Phantom Thread; Tom Hanks for The Post; and Denzel Washington for Roman J. Israel, Esq.