Gary Oldman Says He Got Nicotine Poisoning from Playing Winston Churchill
Published Dec 14, 2017Gary 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.