Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gary Oldman



Gary Oldman's popping up everywhere at the moment on the back of the launch of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, in which he plays the lead role. Oldman is arguably the most successful current British actor still working regularly, judging by the fact that he has appeared in a succession of blockbusters going back for more than 20 years (Harry Potter, Batman, Dracula etc.). Not bad for a working class boy from New Cross.

Oldman grew up in Hatcham Park Road I believe, along with his sister Laila Morse - Mo in Eastenders. Interviewed on the Robert Elms show this week, a listener emailed in a memory of him being in the nativity play at Monson Primary School (now 'Hatcham Temple Grove'). He went on to now closed South East London Boys School in Creek Road, Deptford. As Deptford Se8ker notes, Oldman told the Radio Times this month 'London changes, but Deptford is... Deptford. The same men I was always scared of but fascinated by are all still there. In the pub'.

He used to go to Millwall matches and told the Independent this week that his dad Leonard may have played a couple of times for the team: "Funnily enough, my mum's just told me a remarkable story about my dad. Just after the war, she ran a boarding house, for football players, Millwall players. And I knew that my dad was involved somehow with the reserve team. But two weeks ago my mum said, 'Oh yeah, your dad played for Millwall. When he was young he had a couple of first team games. It was in the kitchen, making tea. I said, 'What are you talking about? You tell me this now?'" He laughs. "We'd kick a ball around when I was very young. But I was rather surprised to discover that my dad – albeit for five minutes – had been a professional footballer. I was quite chuffed, and proud." Come on you Millwall historians check this out, is it family legend or fact? Of course you could be delving back into the murky world of wartime line-ups when the facts are hard to come by and everybody's uncle had a go on the pitch.

Would be good to see Oldman directing again, his 'Nil By Mouth'(1997) is a great London movie and draws heavily on his experience of growing up round here. Scenes on it were filmed on the old Bonamy Estate (Rotherhithe New Road - built in the 60s and demolished in the 90s), the Pepys Estate in Deptford and Hither Green Hospital. The pub scenes were shot in The Five Bells pub in New Cross Road and the recently closed Royal Archer pub nearby. There's also a bit of Deptford Park.

6 comments:

Culla said...

Oldman was on Football Focus on Saturday retelling the story about his dad playing for Millwall and his mum putting up players. Yet he said his 'first love' was Charlton/Best-era Man U (a well trod pattern for the 'Cockney Reds' of that era of following more ostensible glamour elsewhere), although adding with a little qualification that he 'would say he is a Millwall fan'

THE RUINIST said...

The Ruinist spent the years 1990 to 1993 living in a Council sub-let on the sinking into the ground and half derelict Bonamy Estate in South Bermondsey. It was pretty grim in those times and the seat of some kind of rump of an older National Front. Later on when the NF would try to march from South Bermondsey station, the locals in the new re-built Bonamy Estate didn't seem to like them much but then they also hated 'the reds' and the po-lice too. They just hated anyone who wasn't a local. Funny times for The Ruinist too. Had forgotton all about that place.

Transpontine said...

Blimey and they said 'Nil by Mouth' was rough.

Sue said...

All the time I was watching Tinker I kept thinking Smiley looked like my Uncle Bert (sadly long dead). He was a bit ginger and my dad's older brother and his progeny were really weedy so I never thought much of him. But good old Uncle Bert, imortalised by Gary Oldman, my God...what a sexy beast.

Anonymous said...

Hatcham Park Road, eh? A New Cross GATE boy then?

JC said...

My Nan lived at 88 Hatchem park road..I remember a certain teenage boy hanging outside his house on my way to the shops at the end of the road.My Grandad used to drink down the Hatcham with Leonard his Dad.. You know it wasnt' all that rough. My Nan used to leave the key on a string through the letter box so the neighbours could just walk in.People were always chatting out the front of their houses. It felt so friendly and secure.