Gary Oldman channels a softer side of Winston Churchill that might surprise history buffs in Darkest Hour.
The 59-year-old actor, who was nominated for a Golden Globe on Monday for his performance as the late British Prime Minister, puts on the prosthetics and turns into the famous politician in the acclaimed period drama. In the exclusive clip above, the actor shows a lighter side to Churchill as he jokes with one of his employees.
Director Joe Wright tells PEOPLE the most important part of getting Oldman to do a realistic Churchill was to make sure he could still act while under all of the prosthetics.
“It was crucial for Gary’s performance not to be inhibited by the layers of prosthetics he was required to wear,” Wright says. “Luckily, Kazuhiro Tsuji provided the wizardry required to create realistic and flawless facial pieces, and craft them in such a way that there was still access to Gary’s full range of expression.”
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He continued, “Once we knew that the practical side of the process was not going to be an artistic hindrance, my approach to directing Gary didn’t differ all that much as to how I would approach any other actor. The focus was to build a layered, multi-dimensional character and to make the audience forget that there were any prosthetics at all.”
Darkest Hour is in theaters now. The 75th annual Golden Globe awards air Jan. 7 on NBC.