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Oldman's boozy, blunt-talking 'Mank' gaining buzz

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It’s been touted as one of – if not the – greatest film ever made….

But you don’t have to have seen “Citizen Kane” to appreciate Gary Oldman’s latest role as the guy largely responsible for its script – screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, otherwise known as “Mank.”

The recent Netflix film “Mank” dramatizes how the boozy, blunt-talking Mankiewicz teamed with wunderkind Orson Wells to write the 1941 film directed by Wells and in which he also starred as Charles Foster Kane, a character based on real-life media baron William Randolph Hearst.

And now - as “Kane” was heralded some 80 years ago - so too is “Mank” with award buzz circulating, especially for Oldman.

It’s something the 62-year-old actor says never gets old, despite his having won numerous accolades, including an Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in 2018’s “The Darkest Hour.”

[OLDMAN] “You know, you get an end product and then you put it out in the world and if they like your baby, you know, it's nice [smiles]. And having the work acknowledged is a lovely thing."

Oldman said director David Fincher wanted “Mank” to be transportive, choosing to film it in black and white.

[OLDMAN] “He really wanted to take you back to another era and for me anyway, just the whole thing that he's done with the sound and the final look of the movie, I mean, there are moments in it where you are, where you think you might be watching a film actually made in 1940.”

The biggest difference between then and now: in-home viewing versus sitting in a darkened movie house, a transformation driven by new technologies that began well before stay-at-home orders shuttered many cinemas.

[OLDMAN] “You could be a grump and complain about it and, you know, lament the loss of celluloid in the movie houses, or you can, you can just pull your socks up and get on the train with the rest of them."

“Mank” had a limited theatrical release and is currently streaming worldwide on Netflix.

Video Transcript

- It's been touted as one of, if not the, greatest film ever made. But you don't have to have seen "Citizen Kane" to appreciate Gary Oldman's latest role as the guy largely responsible for its script, screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, otherwise known as "Mank".

- God bless William Randolph Hearst.

- The recent Netflix film, "Mank", dramatizes how the boozy, blunt-talking Mankiewicz teamed with wunderkind Orson Welles to write the 1941 film directed by Welles, and in which he also starred as Charles Foster Kane, a character based on real-life media baron, William Randolph Hearst. And now, as "Kane" was heralded some 80 years ago, so too is "Mank" with award buzz circulating, especially for Oldman. It's something the 62-year-old actor says never gets old, despite his having won numerous accolades, including an Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in 2018's "The Darkest Hour".

GARY OLDMAN: You know, you get an end product and then you put it out in the world. And if they like your baby, you know, it's nice. And having the work acknowledged is-- is a lovely thing.

- Oldman said director David Fincher wanted "Mank" to be transportive, choosing to film it in black and white.

GARY OLDMAN: He really wanted to take you back to-- to another era. And I know for me anyway, just the whole thing that he's done with the sound, and the final look of the movie. I mean, there are moments in it where you are-- where you think you might be watching a film actually made in 19-- in 1940.

- The biggest difference between then and now, in-home viewing versus sitting in a darkened movie house. A transformation driven by new technologies that began well before stay-at-home orders shuttered many cinemas.

GARY OLDMAN: You can-- you could be a grump and complain about it and, you know, lament the loss of-- of celluloid in the movie houses or you can just pull your socks up and get on the train with-- with the rest of them.

- "Mank" had a limited theatrical release and is currently streaming worldwide on Netflix.

- The organ grinder's monkey.