Actor Gary Oldman took home the coveted Oscar for “Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama” at the weekend and was clearly absolutely delighted. His portrayal of the great wartime British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” is mesmerizing and extraordinarily powerful. There was, however, a rather strange moment when Oldman took to the stage to give his acceptance speech.
Oldman, who grew up in London, took the opportunity to thank the United States for offering so much incredible opportunity.
“My deepest thanks to the Academy and its members for this glorious prize. I owe this and so much more to so many. I’ve lived in America for the longest time and I’m deeply grateful to her for the loves and the friendships I have made and the many wonderful gifts it has given me: my home, my livelihood, my family, and now Oscar,” he said.
A great applause line – except, there was utter silence.
Oldman continued, “The movies, such is their power, captivated a young man from south London, and gave him a dream.” Only when the actor mentioned a few of the others involved in Darkest Hour did he elicit some minor applause from the stone-faced audience. Clearly a little bewildered by the lack of engagement with his fellow Hollywood stars, Oldman wrapped it up:
“I would just like to salute Sir Winston Churchill, who has been marvelous company on what can be described as an incredible journey, and my wife, Gisele, for traveling that road with me and being at my side. … I would like to thank my mother who is older than the Oscar. She is 99 years young next birthday (applause) and she’s watching the ceremony from the comfort of her sofa. I say to my mother, thank you for your love and support. Put the kettle on, I’m bringing Oscar home,” he concluded.
You can watch the speech below:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 5, 2018
Many took to social media to praise Oldman for paying tribute to the nation that granted him so much opportunity.
— Mark Reiter (@MarkDReiter) March 5, 2018
Finally! Thank God for Gary Oldman who’s thankful for the gifts America gave him. #Oscars2018
— Carl Jackson (@carljacksonshow) March 5, 2018
Oldman thanks America. And gets no applause.
— Just Karl (@justkarl) March 5, 2018
Props to Gary Oldman for thanking America when he accepted the Oscar for his role as Winston Churchill
— Tony Ramos (@tonyoramos1) March 5, 2018
Finally someone on the Oscars thanks America for all it has done for them instead of slamming our country! Thank you Gary Oldman! Job well done!
— Kristen Flabiano (@KristenFlabiano) March 5, 2018
Perhaps the distinct lack of enthusiasm from those in attendance was as a result of the domestic abuse allegations that Oldman faced back in 2001 – his ex-wife claimed that he beat her.
The Daily Beast reported that she insisted Oldman hit her “in the face with the telephone receiver three or four times.” Oldman subsequently denied these allegations.
“Strange that Gary Oldman didn’t thank his publicist for keeping all of those domestic violence assault allegations from getting too much coverage this awards season,” tweeted film blogger Jon Adams.