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1991. He suddenly succumbed to ‘nervous exhaustion’, dropped out and the pair separated. But the topic of his halcyon Hollywood days following Dracula immediately brings a glint to his eye.

‘For a while there wasn’t anybody in Hollywood that wouldn’t take a phone call from me,’ he says nostalgically, allowing himself a little vanity. ‘It was like, “the buzz is out, it’s on the street, babe. It’s the wave and then another wave will hit the shore and then that one goes out and so on”. 1 first felt it with JFK. I was in a car one night with Oliver Stone and we passed a theatre in New York with a line around the comer to see The Doors. 1 said, “Wow, I wish I could be in a movie that would open like this.” and Oliver said, “You’re in one”. I thought, “I guess JFK might do well . .

So why did a man wanted by half of Hollywood wind up in a small and very dark comedy called Romeo ls Bleeding? Oldman plays a greedy, lust-driven and not-entirely- likeable cop who splits his loyalty between the mobsters and the law, and splits his affections

mee urns

‘When I start reading stuff that’s half supposition or all wrong, it goes too far. The stuff about Kieter Sutherland made out we got drunk the week after I was married because I was so miserable - it was actually two years later. That stuff can hurt the people close to you.’

Puffs: Gary gets Into his two-pack-a-day habit (left).

Cuffs: The tools of the trade come in handy with lena Olin (above).

Tufts: Gary plays the macho-man with mistress Juliette Lewis.

between his loving wife (Annabella Sciorra) and a willing mistress (Juliette Lewis). He’s just taking what he thinks he deserves, until life sends him what he really deserves: Mona Demarkov, a hit woman played so viciously by Swedish actress Lena Olin that she’s becoming tagged as the Female Terminator.

‘lt was an interesting angle on a thing we’ve seen done before cop with dilemma.’ he says, ogling his butt-filled ashtray, ‘but with a comic twist.’ It’s a brutal twist indeed, as Oldman’s Jack Grimaldi is selling mob boss Roy Schneider inside information on the very people in the Witness Protection Programme whose lives he’s supposed to be saving. Bang, bang - the mob gets their man, Jack bags some cash. The problem with Mona is that she’s not just your average killer, but the trigger finger behind the death of Jack’s federal marshal] buddies. The feds will pay him to protect her, the mob will up the anti for him to wipe her out, and Mona’s got an offer or two of her own that beats the lot.

Wrapped in a voice-over confessional that brings Raymond Chandler into the murky morality of the 905, Romeo ls Bleeding dances cheek-to-cheek with sex and treachery. And lets Gary Oldman add a Stateside draw] to an accent wardrobe that already ranges from dead Carpathian prince to London wide-boy. C] Romeo ls Bleeding opens in Scotland on Friday 29 April.


Sid And Harley (1998)

Prick Up Your Ears (1997) Track 29 (1988)

We Think The World Of You (1988) Criminal law (1989) Chatahoochee (1989)

State Of Grace (1990) Bosencraufz And Guildeestero Are Dead (1991)

JFK (1991)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) True Romeo (1993)

some ls Bleeding (1993) Murder in The first (199‘)

The List 22 Apn’l—S May 1994 9