Gary Oldman Presented a Big Award to James Schamus and... Cried
By Shana Naomi Krochmal
Gary Oldman's apology tour made an unlikely stop at Thursday's opening night ceremony of Outfest, where the actor presented writer-producer James Schamus with a well-deserved lifetime achievement award.
Oldman, who ranted in a recent Playboy interview about the unbearable constrictions of political correctness—particularly when men like Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin are held accountable for their own anti-Semitic or homophobic language—already turned in a questionably dramatic appeal to the Anti-Defamation League.
The audience of LGBT filmmakers and friends celebrating Outfest's 32 years of work got to witness first-hand a bizarre follow-up performance in which Oldman proclaimed his longtime love for the gays:
"Such an honor to be here with you all tonight! I thank you—thank you so much for inviting me. I've been a huge supporter all my life. I've always supported the LGBT community and ensuring that equality is had and is experienced by all. My support for your community will continue."
After a reel showcasing Schamus's work ended with shots of Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, Oldman took the podium again, visibly choked up. "Lovely to see Heath up there," he said, seemingly in tears.
This isn't the first time a magazine profile of Oldman in which he railed against the idea that he can't say whatever he wants at any time with no consequences generated some by-now predictable pushback. And it's not impossible for a loose-lipped actor to fuck up and then make good, as Jonah Hill did an admirable job of showing with Jimmy Kimmel.
Oldman is a tremendous actor—nobody really questions that—but his mea culpa monologue missed the crucially important emotional note of believability, especially if it was intended to help keep his career on track. Amidst all the crying and the carrying on, it just sounded like a lot of drama.