Lesley Manville recalls ‘bonkers’ family reunion with Gary Oldman at 2018 Oscars

Lesley Manville has recalled the “bonkers” Oscars ceremony of 2018, where both she and ex-husband Gary Oldman were both nominated for top awards.

The pair, who share their son Alfie Oldman together, separated in 1990, though Manville said she had been determined not to “fall apart” following the split.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, she said despite the history, the 90th annual ceremony had been “lovely” and that her son now belonged to “a very exclusive club” of children whose parents had both been nominated for Oscars in the same year.

That year Manville was nominated for best supporting actress for Phantom Thread, while Oldman won the best actor award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Graham Norton Show – London
The actress and her ex-husband Gary Oldman were both nominated at the 90th annual awards (Matt Crossick/PA)

“It was absolutely bonkers,” Manville told Lauren Laverne.

“And of course the lovely thing was that Gary had been nominated that year, and he won.

“So Alfie was having a really…nice (time). All of his family was there. Both of his parents were nominated for Oscars in the same year.

“He’s part of a very exclusive club. I think only Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s children have had the same thing.”

She continued: “So of course, we went to the Governor’s Ball and we did a bit of that and Gary was there and Alfie’s half-brothers were there and it was lovely.”

Manville revealed she had initially not confided in her family about her separation from Oldman, and that it had been “a tremendously lonely time”.

“I just thought, ‘oh well I won’t tell them because maybe in a few months, it’ll all be alright’,” she said.

“But it was a tremendously lonely time. (In the) days before mobile phones as well, so very hard to speak to him or you know what I had imagined for myself.”

She added that she and Oldman had loved each other and had “the best time” before “the rug was very severely pulled from under my feet”.

“I’d thought we’d be together forever, we’d have a big family, but maybe if that had happened, maybe I wouldn’t have the career I’ve got now,” she said.

Manville made her professional debut in 1972 in a West End musical, and has since taken on a wide range of roles on both the big and small screen.

As well as her Oscar-nominated performance in Phantom Thread, she has starred in films including Mrs Harris Goes To Paris, Vera Drake and portrayed Princess Margaret in the most recent series of The Crown.

Elsewhere in the episode she told Laverne about several “sliding doors moments” in her life, including her desire to be an opera singer.

Desert Island Discs airs on Sunday on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4, at 11.15am.