Gary Oldman got nicotine poisoning on Darkest Hour

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 20 September 2017
Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman has admitted it felt like he was "running a marathon" when he had to wear a fat suit to play Britain's wartime prime minister Winston Churchill

Gary Oldman got nicotine poisoning on the set of his upcoming movie 'Darkest Hour' because he had to have a cigar all the time to portray British World War II Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

To accurately play Churchill, the 59-year-old actor had to don a fat suit and hold a smoking cigar. But Oldman's body struggled to cope with the high levels of nicotine from the cigars and he got ill.

Speaking to Variety Studio Presented by AT&T, Oldman said: "It is what it is. It took four hours a day to get into the fat suit and 45 minutes to take it off. You just focus. I think I hold the record now. I think it was 50 consecutive days in it. It's like a mindset you have. Like running a marathon. Once in it, it was very comfortable apart from a bout of nicotine poisoning. It's not pretty. Especially when you're in a fat suit."

The plot focuses on a crucial moment at the beginning of WWII when Churchill has to make a key decision as to what to do to stem the Nazi march across Europe.

Wright admits making the movie was an "exercise in education" and ahead of the cameras rolling on 'Darkest Hour' he spent a long time reading and talking about Churchill.

He said: "Every film that I take one is an exercise in education. I've had amazing teachers throughout my life and career. We spent a long time thinking and reading and talking about Winston. We wanted to bring this icon down from his pedestal and bring him eye to eye and discover the real man and all his humour, wisdom and faults."

Oldman also stars alongside Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn and Lily James in the movie which is slated for release at the end of the year.

Darkest Hour

  • 4 stars
  • 2017
  • UK
  • 1h 54min
  • Directed by: Joe Wright
  • Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendlesohn, Ronald Pickup
  • UK release: 12 January 2018

May 1940: the situation in Europe is worsening, and Britain needs a new prime minister. The latest in a very long line of recent Churchill performances is by far the best: Oldman is virtually unrecognisable and attacks the part with relish, with Scott Thomas excellent as his wife Clemmie. It may veer into hero worship but…

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