In 1985, Oldman joined London's Royal Court Theatre, an association that continues for the next four years. His first major screen role soon followed, a dead-on portrayal of doomed punk rocker Sid Vicious in Alex Cox's "Sid & Nancy" in 1986. By contrast, Stephen Frears' acclaimed film "Prick Up Your Ears" cast Oldman as Iconoclastic playwright Joe Orton.
Oldman was next paired with Alan Bates in "We Think The World of You," as Johnny, the conflicted lover of a gentle, older man, and was featured in Nicholas Roeg's dark comedy "Track 29" as Martin, the long lost, and possibly murderous son, of Theresa Russell.
Martin Campbell's hit psychological thriller, "Criminal Law," cast Oldman as an American Attorney embroiled in a cat-and-mouse game, for which adopted a seamless US accent -- a skill also put to good use in "Chattahoochee" and in Phil Joanou's "State of Grace," both in 1990. That same year, Oldman starred as Rosencrantz in Tom Stoppard's film adaptation of his play "Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."
Next, Oldman portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone's controversial film "JFK," which he followed with his portrayal of Count Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula."
Oldman again utilized an American accent in Tony Scott's "True Romance," written by Quentin Tarantino. His next feature, "Romeo Is Bleeding," brought Oldman even deeper into neo-noir, in which he played Jack Grimaldi, an agent working for the witness protection program.
Oldman's first professional pairing with Luc Besson came in 1994's "The Professional," opposite Jean Reno as Norman Stanfield, an operative for the US Drug Enforcement Agency gone wildly out of control. Also in 1994, director Bernard Rose chose Oldman for the demanding lead of "Immortal Beloved," a film acclaimed for its portrayal of the inner life of Ludwig Von Beethoven.
More recently, Oldman appeared as the Reverend Dimmesdale in "The Scarlett Letter" and as a sadistic warden of Alcatraz in "Murder in the First." Oldman was also featured in "Basquiat" as Albert Milo, one of the few fictional characters in the film bio of the artist Jean-Michele Basquiat, directed by Julian Schnabel.
Oldman can currently be seen in Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element," which opens the 1997 Cannes International Film Festival. Later this year he will star opposite Harrison Ford in "Air Force One." Currently Oldman is working with director Stephen Hopkins playing the role of Dr. Smith in New Line's science fiction film "Lost In Space."
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