Gary Oldman Reveals His Retirement From Acting

Gary Oldman says he feels ready to retire completely at age 80 and wants to develop other hobbies.

By Britta DeVore | Published

Since first revealing several months ago that he was thinking about taking a major step back from his decades-spanning career in Hollywood, Gary Oldman has kept fans wondering about when that date will be and what project will be his last. And, in a recent interview with The Sunday Times, the Darkest Hour star revealed that soon it would be time for him to pursue other hobbies “outside of acting.” Currently 64 years old, Oldman recognizes that 70 is just “around the corner,” and that then, of course, comes 80, an age where he no longer wishes to be “active.”

The Academy Award-winning performer spoke to a life of retirement, hoping that he could do everything that other folks do when they’re ready to slow down and enjoy life. Gary Oldman said of those interests that “when you’re young you think you’re going to get round to doing all of them,” before realizing that you’re growing older and losing the chances to make these things happen for yourself. But, for fans of The Fifth Element star who are afraid of losing him before he rounds out his time as Jackson Lamb on the Apple TV+ series, Slow Horses, there’s no need to panic just yet.

gary oldman crisis

As of right now, we officially have at the very least two more seasons of Gary Oldman perfectly playing the alcoholic MI5 boss in the crime thriller. But, beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess as to if Oldman will continue with the series or any other project for that matter. However, it’s clear that the actor has enjoyed playing Jackson Lamb so far as he said that calling it a wrap on his acting career after his time on the series would make him feel “very happy and honored and privileged.”

Part of his love for the series and, in particular, for the character of Jackson Lamb may be because for a while in his own life, Gary Oldman had a tumultuous and troublingly addictive relationship with alcohol. It wasn’t until 1995 that he would begin to get his addiction under control when his then co-star Demi Moore, with whom Oldman was working alongside in The Scarlet Letter, held an intervention on her own, pleading with him to go to take a step back, go to rehab, and make a big and healthy change for his future. This is something he’s been incredibly candid about and Oldman is now going into his 25th year of sobriety – a major milestone for anyone battling addiction. 

As for his future beyond Slow Horses, Gary Oldman fans will next see the Bram Stoker’s Dracula star in another period piece flick, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Like his role in The Darkest Hour, which saw him stepping into the historical shoes of Winston Churchill, the upcoming Christopher Nolan feature will see him play another historical figure, President Harry Truman, in the biographical movie about the titular physicist known for creating the atomic bomb. He’ll star opposite Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, and Florence Pugh in the movie due out in July 2023.

While the news of Gary Oldman’s retirement may still be a bummer, there’s one bit of hope from his recent interview that tells us that his mind has yet to be made up. He revealed that when Nolan cast him in Oppenheimer he was asked to cut his hair, something that he wouldn’t do because he planned on “playing Lamb for as long as the audiences like the show.” So, as long as we keep supporting Slow Horses, it sounds like Oldman’s time in front of the camera will never end.