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Only Gary Oldman could have played Churchill: Joe Wright

PTI | Los Angeles |

Director Joe Wright said he was convinced veteran actor Gary Oldman was the only actor who could have pulled off the role of former British PM Winston Churchill in his next Darkest Hour.

The 45-year-old filmmaker said The Hitman’s Bodyguard actor was initially averse to playing the part but yielded to the makers’ request after he learnt Wright was helming the movie.

“I was scared. Gary was scared. He was on the vape. I was on the roll-ups. I didn’t need to tell him what a great character it was or what a great script it was.

“I just needed to tell him he was the only man for the job, that he could do it. A director’s job is often giving people the confidence to do their best work. And I knew he could, cause he’s a genius,” Wright said.

The film follows the initial days of Churchill’s term as prime minister, as Hitler’s grip on Europe is tightening and the British Parliament is weighing its failed policy of appeasement.

Also featuring Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James, Darkest Hour hits the screens on November 22.