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Uncanny parallels between Gary Oldman and Daniel-Day Lewis

Born barely a year apart, they grew up in South London and emerged as major talents around the same time in the Eighties, vying for the same roles.

They have fought demons in their personal lives, often publicly, and both have loved and left behind a trail of beautiful women.

Now, Daniel Day-Lewis, 60, and Gary Oldman, 59, are going head-to-head in the Oscars, with nominations for Best Actor — yet another remarkable coincidence in their strangely parallel lives.

Oldman has a nod for his acclaimed portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, which has roused cinema audiences to cheers and tears.

Day-Lewis ¿ already boasting three Oscars to his name, a feat unequalled in Academy Award history ¿ is nominated for what he says is his final film performance in Phantom Thread, which is released next Friday

Oldman has a nod for his acclaimed portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour (left), while Day-Lewis is nominated for his performance in Phantom Thread (right)

Day-Lewis — already boasting three Oscars to his name, a feat unequalled in Academy Award history — is nominated for what he says is his final film performance in Phantom Thread, which is released next Friday.

So what else links them? Well, both have sons working as male models — their offspring shared a catwalk recently — while Day-Lewis’s co-star in Phantom Thread is British actress Lesley Manville (also nominated as Best Supporting actress this year) who was once married to . . . Gary Oldman.

And both men had fathers who cast long and troubling shadows over their sons’ subsequent lives.

Read on for more on the lives and similar times of Gary Oldman and Daniel Day-Lewis…

LONDON-BORN, BUT A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

They were raised in homes just two miles from each other in South-East London — though in vastly different circumstances.Born on March 21, 1958, Gary Oldman grew up in tough, working-class New Cross, in a house with an outside lavatory.

His father, Leonard, a welder and alcoholic, moved out when he was seven and died relatively young of liver failure.

His mum, Kathleen, worked two jobs to support Oldman and his two siblings. Failing his audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he attended drama college in Sidcup, Kent, before igniting the London theatre scene in his 20s.

Daniel Day-Lewis is the son of poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and was born on April 29, 1957. He and sister Tamasin spent much of their childhood in the wealthy, bohemian milieu of genteel Greenwich.

Daniel Day-Lewis is pictured aged ten with his father Cecil, a poet laureate. He and sister Tamasin spent much of their childhood in the wealthy, bohemian milieu of genteel Greenwich

Daniel Day-Lewis is pictured aged ten with his father Cecil, a poet laureate. He and sister Tamasin spent much of their childhood in the wealthy, bohemian milieu of genteel Greenwich

His father was 21 years older than his mother, actress Jill Balcon, and had been married with a mistress when they met. He also had an affair with writer Elizabeth Jane Howard among others. He died when Daniel was 15.

A member of the National Youth Theatre, Daniel later trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for three years.

YOUNG PUNKS WITH PLENTY TO PROVE

In 1984, at 26, rising star Oldman — who’d appeared in TV series Morgan’s Boy and Dramarama — was offered the lead in My Beautiful Laundrette, a controversial film about a gay interracial love affair.

He turned it down because he thought the dialogue was inauthentic. The role went to another fledgling talent — Day-Lewis. At the time he’d had a small role in 1982 film Gandhi and appeared in the BBC’s Play Of The Month.

The huge critical success of My Beautiful Laundrette landed Day-Lewis more starring roles and, in 1988, he was cast in My Left Foot, about Irish writer and cerebral palsy sufferer Christy Brown, for which he won his first Oscar.

A string of high-profile films quickly followed, including The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, The Last Of The Mohicans, The Age Of Innocence and In The Name Of The Father.

Meanwhile, Oldman had caused a sensation as Sid Vicious in the film Sid & Nancy in 1986, and in Prick Up Your Ears, about the life and tragic death of gay playwright Joe Orton a year later.

The huge critical success of My Beautiful Laundrette, in a role Oldman had turned down, landed Day-Lewis more starring roles

Meanwhile, Oldman had caused a sensation as Sid Vicious in the film Sid & Nancy in 1986

The huge critical success of My Beautiful Laundrette landed Day-Lewis (left) more starring roles, while Oldman had caused a sensation as Sid Vicious in the film Sid & Nancy (right)

Oldman moved to Hollywood to become a movie star, although leading roles initially eluded him (he made a brief appearance in the TV soap Knots Landing among other work).

However, an impressive performance as assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone’s 1991 blockbuster JFK earned him some valuable plaudits.

In a neat twist on the casting of My Beautiful Laundrette, director Francis Ford Coppola wanted Day-Lewis as the title role in his 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but he was committed elsewhere, which led to Oldman taking the role instead.

DELIVERED FROM THEIR DEMONS

Both have torrid personal lives. Day-Lewis, in particular, is famous for his immersion in roles and intensity off-screen.

After the death of his father, Day-Lewis, 16, took an overdose of migraine tablets. He was released from psychiatric hospital after convincing doctors he was ‘fine’ and later said it was the greatest performance of his career.

While playing Hamlet in 1989 at the National Theatre, Day-Lewis had a breakdown, quitting the production mid-performance and claiming that he saw the ghost of his father staring at him on ‘that dreadful night’.

He later denied actually ‘seeing’ a ghost, but said: ‘One of the things that constantly worries me is that I didn’t do enough to please my father. I bitterly regret not having achieved anything by the time he died.’

Another breakdown followed the death of his agent in 1994. ‘If I weren’t allowed this outlet of acting, there wouldn’t be a place for me in society,’ he has said. He lives with his family quietly in Wicklow, Ireland, and spends his days woodworking and shoemaking.

Last November, he announced his plans to retire: ‘All my life, I’ve mouthed off about how I should stop acting, and I don’t know why it was different this time, but the impulse to quit took root in me.

‘I want to explore the world in a different way . . . I won’t know which way to go for a while. But I’m not going to stay idle. I don’t fear the stony silence.’

Oldman is pictured with his wife Gisele Schmidt in 2017. He has been married five times and has battled alcohol addiction

Oldman is pictured with his wife Gisele Schmidt in 2017. He has been married five times and has battled alcohol addiction

Gary Oldman, meanwhile, has overcome alcohol addiction following at least two stints in rehab in ten turbulent years of chaos.

There were boozy outings with fellow Hollywood hellraisers and a night in a police cell after being stopped for drink-driving. Meanwhile, his second marriage to actress Uma Thurman — whom he met while making the 1990 film Henry And June — collapsed within two years.

In the mid-Nineties, he would check into the plush Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan for four-day benders as a regular ‘treat’, spending lost weekends repeatedly draining the mini-bar on his own. A single stay would cost up to £16,000.

After a 70-day bender so severe that his tongue turned black, Oldman finally got sober in 1997: ‘I can remember it, but it almost seems like another life. A whole other person. I was honestly and truly delivered from it.’

HAUNTED BY THE SINS OF THEIR FATHERS

The paternal influence on both actors has been far-reaching — most notably in the absence from their lives as young adults.

Oldman attributes his alcoholism to his father: ‘Looking back at the stuff I did, it was like I was walking in my father’s shoes. Here’s someone who hadn’t really influenced me — we spoke on the phone a couple of times when I was a teenager — yet it was like I had a blueprint I was following.’

Oldman’s 1997 directorial debut, Nil By Mouth — a harrowing account of life in South London — was semi-autobiographical.

It was his father’s philandering that triggered Day-Lewis’s anguish. Although friends still maintain their friendship was platonic, Cecil Day-Lewis took the writer A. S. Byatt under his wing. When Daniel’s mother found a letter in his pocket detailing romantic afternoons with Byatt in London in 1965, she walked out.

She was persuaded back, but Day-Lewis’s subsequent adolescence was often problematic. He began drinking, shoplifting and getting into fights.

His move to Ireland is a legacy of his father’s roots — the poet laureate was born in County Laois — and the actor says Ireland is where he finds harmony.

WILD FLINGS WITH WINONA?

Both actors are rumoured to have had intense affairs with troubled American actress Winona Ryder — Day-Lewis after they were both cast in Scorsese’s 1993 film The Age Of Innocence, and Oldman the year before, when he and Ryder were in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

LOVE, DIVORCE AND LIVE-IN GIRLFRIENDS

Oldman has been married five times and Day-Lewis has enjoyed a love life no less eventful — marrying current wife Rebecca even though he had a live-in girlfriend at the time.

Oldman met his first wife, actress Lesley Manville, in 1987 while both were in a play at London’s Royal Court Theatre.

They had a son, Alfie, but Oldman left for Hollywood in 1989 and was soon romancing Uma Thurman, who was only 20 at the time.

Daniel Day-Lewis is pictured in 2013 with his wife Rebecca Miller, the daughter of U.S. literary giant Arthur Miller 

Daniel Day-Lewis is pictured in 2013 with his wife Rebecca Miller, the daughter of U.S. literary giant Arthur Miller 

She became his second wife, but they were together for less than two years. Thurman acidly observed: ‘It takes a special kind of woman to put up with him.’

Next came an intense relationship with Italian actress Isabella Rossellini, then a marriage in 1997 to model Donya Fiorentino, whom he met in rehab.

That ended in an ugly divorce in 2001, in which she accused him of hitting her with a phone and spending heavily on prostitutes, drugs and booze. He denied the claims and won sole custody of their sons, Gulliver and Charlie.

He married for a fourth time, to singer Alexandra Edenborough, in 2008, but they split in 2015. Last year, he married art curator Gisele Schmidt. ‘I’ve gone through my thing and we’re like peas in a pod. I’m nearly 60 and at last I think I’ve come home,’ he has said.

Day-Lewis has a son, Gabriel Kane, from his long relationship with French actress Isabelle Adjani. She revealed that he dumped her by fax in 1994 when he discovered she was pregnant.

He then dated fitness instructor Deya Pichardo and the two lived together in Manhattan.

In the mid-Nineties he met Rebecca Miller — the actress daughter of another literary giant, U.S. playwright Arthur Miller — on the film set of Miller’s play, The Crucible, for which Arthur Miller had written the screenplay.

They married ‘on impulse’ in 1996. Ms Pichardo was still living in Day-Lewis’s apartment and discovered what had happened only when a friend, on hearing that Day-Lewis had married, rang to congratulate the suitably mystified Pichardo.

Day-Lewis and Rebecca have two sons, Ronan and Cashel, and have a second home in New York.

THE AIM IS QUALITY . . . NOT QUANTITY

Famously, Day-Lewis and Oldman limit the roles they take on, with Day-Lewis leaving gaps of several years between films.

Oldman drastically scaled down his acting work in order to raise his sons by Fiorentino for the decade after their divorce. There were voiceovers and cameo appearances, but he returned in earnest only in 2011, playing George Smiley in the acclaimed remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

METHOD, MADNESS AND KEITH RICHARDS

Day-Lewis is famous for ‘method’ acting and will spend up to two years living as the characters he takes on so that he can fully inhabit them.

When playing Christy Brown in My Left Foot, he asked the crew to wheel him around in his wheelchair between takes and feed him with a spoon.

While filming There Will Be Blood (he received his second Oscar in 2008 for the role of Daniel Plainview) he lived in a tent on a Texas oilfield throughout the shoot.

Oldman is not a method actor but he, too, has a reputation for intensity on-set. He once said he has a ¿pain bag¿ consisting of photos of his father which he would bring on set to look at if he needed to generate anguish for a role

Oldman is not a method actor but he, too, has a reputation for intensity on-set. He once said he has a ‘pain bag’ consisting of photos of his father which he would bring on set to look at if he needed to generate anguish for a role

His third Oscar was for Lincoln in 2013, and he would send his on-screen wife, the actress Sally Field, messages signed ‘Abraham Lincoln’ as they were filming.

In his new film Phantom Thread, he learned how to sew before playing London couturier Reynolds Woodcock, and insisted he meet his co-star — and on-screen love interest — for the first time in character when filming so their interaction could be authentic.

Oldman is not a method actor but he, too, has a reputation for intensity on-set.

He once said he has a ‘pain bag’ consisting of photos of his father which he would bring on set to look at if he needed to generate anguish for a role.

During his drinking years, he once ended up hanging out all night with friends in Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards’s New York apartment.

As Oldman was leaving, Richards (once a byword for decadence) said to another attendee: ‘Your friend, Gary? He’s a bit sensitive — he might want to watch that.’

MODEL SONS WHO SHARED A CATWALK

Gabriel Kane Day-Lewis is a rising star of the catwalk and an aspiring musician. Now 22, he has been modelling for three years and has featured at Paris Fashion Week this month.

Charlie Oldman, 18, is also in Paris for the shows, and last week appeared for Dolce & Gabbana. Oldman’s older son, Gulliver, 20, is a photographer. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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