method makeup-ing

It Took 200 Hours in a Makeup Chair to Turn Gary Oldman Into Winston Churchill

Gary Oldman is Darkest Hour. Photo: Focus Features

Honestly, Gary Oldman must have some kind of iron bladder. The skilled actor is starring as Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour, a transformation that, God-given gravitas aside, required Oldman’s time, energy, and seemingly bottomless capacity to sit in a chair without fidgeting or making any otherwise urgent exits. We know this thanks to a CinemaCon appearance by Oldman, wherein he discussed how his slim frame came to resemble Churchill’s. The process was, per Oldman understatement, “a hard one.” As in, it took Oldman over 200 hours (!!) in the makeup chair to get the look right, requiring him to carry “around half my body weight” in prosthetics. Of course, all of that body weight is still a lighter load than the weight of the free world that Churchill was schlepping around, but the effect is nonetheless convincing. Forget Oscars, and give this man a controversial portrait already.

Gary Oldman’s Winston Churchill Took 200 Hours in Makeup