Gary Oldman Clarifies Harry Potter Criticism: “I Only Had One Book in the Library of Sirius Black”

Gary Oldman has addressed some previous comments on the Harry Potter franchise whereby he called his performance as fan-favorite character Sirius Black “mediocre.”

Oldman spoke while at the Cannes press conference for Paolo Sorrentino’s Parthenope on Wednesday and wanted to ensure no fans of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world adaptations were offended by his words.

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“Not to disparage anyone out there who are fans of the Harry Potter films and the character who I think is much beloved … What I meant by that is I think as any artist, actor, painter, you are always hypercritical of your own work.

“If you’re not and you’re satisfied with what you’re doing, that would be death to me. If I had watched a performance of myself and thought: ‘My God, I’m fantastic in this,’ that would be a sad day. My best work is next year.” He attempted to clarify what he meant. “What I meant by the Harry Potter remark is that there was such secrecy that was shrouded around the novels, they were under lock and key … If I had read the five books and I had seen the arcs of the character, I may have approached it differently. I may have painted in a different color.”

Oldman continued: “When I started Harry Potter, all I had was the book (The Prisoner of Azakban) and the representation of that man — one book in the library of Sirius Black. It’s not me looking at the movie and saying it’s a terrible film or I’m terrible, I just wish it had been under different circumstances. Not to be rude to any of the people out there who like that film.”

Oldman starred in the Prisoner of AzkabanGoblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, in which Black, godfather of the titular character, was killed. He reappeared briefly in a memory in The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, alongside Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and a host of famous Britons who are widely known for their roles in the series.

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