Gary Oldman finally got his Oscar. And a much deserved one at that. His turn as the plucky politician Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour has finally netted him cinema’s most recognized award. But I don’t think it’s his most memorable role. Nor his best. Admit it – Oldman does his best work as the bad guy. And he’s played some of the baddest. Dracula, that dude who killed JFK, a rasta psychopath in True Romance, some crocked tycoon in Fifth Element, a crazy billionaire with a fucked up face trying to gain revenge on Hannibal Lecter. The list goes on. Yet he was at his most crazed, his most brilliant, in 1994’s Léon: The Professional.
Death is Whimsical Today
Following the success of La Femma Nikita in 1990, “renegade” (as labelled by HBO) French director Luc Besson (Lucy) finally had the opportunity to bring Fifth Element, a film he’d been dreaming up on-and-off since he was a teenager, to the big screen. Hollywood studios were paying attention to the hot young talent, offering to back him up with fat wads of greasy green cash. Even genuine A-lister Bruce Willis (Die Hard) was saying he wanted to star. The only snag was Willis was knee-deep in one of the most productive periods of his career; he was booked up until 95′. So Besson decided to wait and in the meantime made a small scale “passion project” he’d thought up whilst shooting Nikita. Léon was born.
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