Gary Oldman: “If I Had Known What Was Coming, I Would’ve Played [Sirius] Differently”

Gary Oldman recently appeared on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, and among the hour-long dissection of his career, he discussed the challenges he faced while filming a pivotal scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The lake scene, where Sirius Black transforms into a dog, proved to be the most demanding for Oldman. And it was the physical aspect that made it the hardest scene for him to shoot in the entire series.

The most difficult thing I ever had to do, oddly enough, was… In one of the ‘Harry Potter’s, I had to lie by that lake. There was a frozen lake, and I’m sort of dead, and the soul is leaving my body, and then it appears….

[On] ‘Harry Potter,’ they would shoot – it took forever. It was slow! You’d be on a scene for a week when normally [a film crew] could shoot this in two days….  They built this lake inside the studio, and they cooled it down. They froze this lake, and I had to just lie there for a week — day in, day out, doing nothing.

During the few minutes where Harry Potter was the topic at hand, Oldman brought up the late, great Alan Rickman, as well as his thoughts regarding his own performance in the films:

I think my work is mediocre in it…. Maybe if I had read the books like Alan, if I had got ahead of the curve a bit, if I had known what’s coming, I honestly think I would’ve played it differently.

Oldman also noted that he is “still upset” that they killed Sirius off “too early” – an opinion many readers probably share!

The way Oldman discussed the Patronus Charm is hilarious to us, and along with the description of how chilly the lake scene was, this is a must-watch clip for Sirius fans and all Potter fans.


Kat Miller

I am a 40-something Ravenclaw/Slytherin from Massachusetts. I've been lucky in life and can attribute a lot of that to Harry Potter. Without it, I wouldn't have at least 80% of the things I do today, including my career & closest friends. I truly despise Sirius Black.