Gary Oldman Is The Biggest Critic Of His Own Sid & Nancy Performance

These days he's known as one of the finest actors in the industry for his almost unmatched versatility and range. Gary Oldman is frequently unrecognizable from role to role. Not only has he built a respected career as a result, but back in the mid-80s — before his appearances in the Harry Potter franchise or Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy — Oldman was coming off an acclaimed run in the theater and was yet to make his name in the film industry.

Having starred in 1982's "Remembrance," the actor wouldn't appear in another film until 1986 when he had to be talked into playing Sid Vicious. By his own admission, Oldman had little to no interest in the Sex Pistols bassist (or punk in general), but was convinced by director Alex Cox to take on the lead role in his retelling of Vicious' dysfunctional relationship with Nancy Spungen. Almost 30 years later, his performance in "Sid And Nancy" remains one of Gary Oldman's best, gaining the actor widespread praise and setting him up for his breakout role in Oliver Stone's "JFK" in 1991 before the impressive Hollywood career that followed.

Unfortunately, not everyone was a fan of the film. Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten, now known as John Lydon, hated it. In his autobiography, he said, "I still get asked questions about [the film]. I have to explain that it's all wrong. It was all someone else's f****** fantasy, some Oxford graduate who missed the punk rock era." But, perhaps unsurprisingly considering he had to be talked into doing it in the first place, the biggest critic of "Sid And Nancy" is Oldman himself.

'Why would you make a movie about these people?'

On the surface, there's a lot to like about "Sid And Nancy." An early example of Roger Deakins' cinematography, the biopic features standout performances from Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious and Chloe Webb as Nancy Spungen. Cox also manages to wring some sympathy for Vicious and his doomed relationship out of the whole thing — despite the fact the punk legend was, by most accounts, a pretty repulsive guy and questions remain about his involvement in Spungen's death.

But if you ask Oldman, none of that matters because he can't even watch the film without wincing. As the actor told The Hollywood Reporter, before he'd accepted the role, he saw punk and Vicious' life as, "a lot of noise" and was concerned about, "who would see 'Sid and Nancy?" But beyond that, the Oscar winner seems to regard the whole thing as some of his worst on-screen work, adding, "I don't think I'm very good in it."

It wouldn't be the first time he'd expressed his distaste for the film. In a 2016 interview, he said:

"If ['Sid And Nancy'] comes on TV and I'm channel surfing and I see a second of it I want to just throw the television out the window. I had no interest in the Sex Pistols. I looked at it and thought, 'Why? Why would you make a movie about these people?' But it's got its charms, [there's] great things in it. It's Roger Deakins cinematography, one of his early films. But it's just old stuff now, to me."

Needless to say, Oldman won't be watching the upcoming Hulu retelling of the Sex Pistols story. But there's more to Oldman's view of "Sid And Nancy" than his disinterest in punk.

Oldman isn't the biggest fan of his own work

Gary Oldman is talking about retirement, and if he were to quit tomorrow he'd go out on a high as one of the most respected actors in the industry. His recent work on the Apple TV+ series "Slow Horses" proves he's just as exciting an actor in his mid-60s as he was when he first broke into film — even if he does hate one of his first major roles.

While Oldman does seem to have a specific disdain for "Sid And Nancy," he also just seems to kind of hate watching himself or being praised for anything. In his controversial Playboy interview, he was asked about being one of the great working actors and said:

"I've learned over the years that people get upset when they tell you something is their favorite movie and you go, 'Really? You liked that piece of s***?' [...] So I now tell people, 'Thank you, that's great,' and move on. But you know, I remember John Lennon saying that if he could, he'd go back and burn most of the work the Beatles did. He said he'd rerecord all the f****** songs, and I get that. Most of my work I would just stomp into the ground and start over again."

So, what does Gary Oldman like about his work? Well, it seems he thoroughly enjoyed playing George Smiley in the 2011's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." As he put it in an interview, "In a world where they are making Batman, Deadpool, and you know ... there seems to be one every week, it was nice to be involved with a real grown-up, adult movie." Don't expect to see Oldman showing up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before he retires.