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Gary Oldman (‘Mank’) on his ‘role of a lifetime’ in ‘glorious, sumptuous black and white’ [Exclusive Featurette]

Gold Derby logo Gold Derby 1/14/2021 Denton Davidson
a group of people sitting at a table © Netflix

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Mank” premiered in limited theatrical release last November before launching worldwide on Netflix on December 4, instantly creating Oscar buzz for the David Fincher film starring Academy Award winner Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried. Oldman calls his portrayal of “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz the “role of a lifetime” and is in contention to earn his third Oscar nomination. Watch highlights of his performance in an exclusive new featurette from Netflix above.

“The whole package was to be filmed in glorious, sumptuous black and white,” Oldman explains in the four-minute reel. “It’s rare that something like this comes in… a ‘Mank’ doesn’t just fall from the trees every other week. He’s an alcoholic, he has gambling problems, he’s an incredible writer. It’s such a delicious cocktail of all of these elements.”

SEE‘Mank’ could be the 3rd black-and-white movie in 30 years to win cinematography Oscar

Fincher was adamant that Oldman was “raw” in his portrayal of Mankiewicz, meaning no “tricks” or prosthetics. There was no concern as to whether Oldman looked like the subject because he was able to deliver everything through his eyes. Oldman resisted the idea for a while, admitting it was purely insecurity, before diving head first into the project. Seyfried said of the leading man, “Gary is a great lead actor on any movie set. He knows exactly who he is in the scene.” Co-star Lily Collins adds, “It’s so wonderful as an actor to feel safe and protected and nurtured within a scene. Gary did that for me.”

Oldman currently ranks among the top five in our overall odds for Best Actor at the Oscars, Golden Globes and SAG Awards. As of this writing the Oscar winner for “Darkest Hour” has 20 experts predicting the English actor will receive his third Academy Award bid for “Mank.” Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”), Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) and Delroy Lindo (“Da 5 Bloods”) round out the top five Oscar contenders to date.

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