Although Gary Oldman spent the first three decades of his career being criminally overlooked by Oscar and Golden Globe voters, he was recognized much sooner by his peers in the Screen Actors Guild. Before winning Best Actor for “Darkest Hour” in 2018, he earned his first SAG bid in 2001 for his supporting part in “The Contender.” Now, 20 years later, his performance in “Mank” has brought him back for a third time.
Oldman faces off against Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) and Steven Yeun (“Minari”) in the race for Best Actor. While Oldman is the only one to have previously scored an individual award, the late Boseman did triumph as a member of the “Black Panther” ensemble in 2019. Yeun is a first-timer, while Ahmed has one past nomination to his name and Hopkins has six.
Oldman stars in Netflix’s “Mank” as screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who many believe wrote 1941’s “Citizen Kane” all on his own with no help from Orson Welles. The film explores that controversial notion in great detail, with the ever-tipsy (and often downright plastered) Mankiewicz in the driver’s seat. Naturally, the trip is a sinuous one, but Oldman aptly keeps things on course with his purposeful portrayal.
Although none of Oldman’s castmates received nominations for their performances in “Mank,” Tom Pelphrey (who plays the title character’s brother, Joseph L. Mankiewicz) is up for the Best TV Drama Ensemble award as part of the cast of “Ozark.” Charles Dance, who plays media mogul William Randolph Hearst, has won two SAG awards as a member of the ensembles of the film “Gosford Park” (2002) and the drama series “The Crown” (2020).
If Oldman, 62, nabs a second Best Actor trophy this year, he will oust Denzel Washington (“Fences”) and become the oldest winner in the category’s 27-year history. He would also be the second leading man to win twice, following Daniel Day-Lewis, who achieved the feat in 2008 (“There Will Be Blood”) and went on to win a third time in 2013 (“Lincoln”).
This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “SAG Awards nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2021 contenders in film and TV.
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