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Gary Oldman calls 'Mank' his most challenging role

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2-min read
Gary Oldman as Mank (Netflix)
Gary Oldman as Mank (Netflix)

Gary Oldman has called his portrayal of Herman J Mankiewicz in David Fincher’s upcoming biopic Mank the “most challenging of any role” that he’s ever had.

The Academy Award winner and star of The Darkest Hour made the admission during a conversation with USA Today, ahead of Mank’s release on Netflix on December 4.

Though Oldman was quick to add the role of Mankiewicz was a “joy.”

Read More: David Fincher says he should have made more movies

Oldman revealed he initially struggled with the part because director David Fincher told him, “I want you as absolutely naked as you’ve ever been. There’s no wig, no teeth, no forced noses. Just you.”

Having previously played Sid Vicious, Beethoven, Sirius Black, James Gordon, and Winston Churchill, Oldman is first to admit that he does enjoy “the odd disguise to hide behind.” However, he also says that he struggled with portraying a character who had so much “self-loathing.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 28:  Director David Fincher speaks onstage at the 63rd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards Feature Film Symposium held at the DGA on January 28, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 28: Director David Fincher speaks onstage at the 63rd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards Feature Film Symposium held at the DGA on January 28, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA)

Written by Fincher’s father Jack Fincher, who died at the age of 72 in 2003, Mank primarily revolves around Mankiewicz’s efforts to write Citizen Kane, widely acknowledged as one of the best movies ever made.

Read More: David Fincher slates 'Joker' as a 'betrayal of the mentally ill'

It explores Mankiewicz’s battle to receive credit from the film’s star, producer, director, and co-writer Orson Welles.

There’s a huge amount of hype surrounding Mank, especially since the coronavirus pandemic has already decimated the Awards season. It is expected to be one of the front runners at next year’s Academy Awards, with many critics even suggesting that it might finally land Fincher Best Director.