Gary Oldman Says He Got Nicotine Poisoning from Playing Winston Churchill

Gary Oldman Says He Got Nicotine Poisoning from Playing Winston Churchill
Gary Oldman is entirely unrecognizable as Winston Churchill in the upcoming biopic Darkest Hour. Aside from a bang-up makeup job for the role, Oldman did something a little more practical to get into character. Specifically, he smoked a ridiculous amount of cigars.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Oldman wagers he lit up approximately 400 Cubans throughout the course of the film. Considering they cost around $50 each, that means the cigar budget hovered around the $20,000 mark.

The stogies didn't just burn a hole in the film's budget, however. They also took their toll on Oldman's health. "I got serious nicotine poisoning," Oldman recalled. "You'd have a cigar that was three-quarters smoked and you'd light it up, and then over the course of a couple of takes, it would go down, and then the prop man would replenish me with a new cigar — we were doing that for 10 or 12 takes a scene."

According to director Joe Wright, however, the smokes were integral to the character. "It's Winston Churchill," he said. "You can't have Winston Churchill without a cigar."

Watch the trailer for Darkest Hour below.