Will The Real Gary Oldman Please Stand Up

Actor Gary Oldman

Maybe I have some problems with the part of my brain that identifies people. Maybe this part of the brain is limited to a handful of people. Of course I think this disability is directly related to Gary Oldman. I am really starting to think I have a condition, a condition I like to call:


There may be some of you suffer this very affliction. If you have the inability to indentify Gary Oldman when you see him, then maybe you suffer from Oldmanidentisis. For most of you it is not a debilitating disability, but for me, I pride myself on being able to notice actors and connect them with other actors and projects they have done. I pick up on all of the subtle nuances that a filmmaker adds to a film. As I like to say: “I watch the movie good.”

But for some reason I cannot identify Gary Oldman when I see him.

Last night I went to see “The Dark Knight” with a large chunk of my Dork crew. I am not going to ramble on about the film, or give my opinion, I will leave that up to another Dork to post about. As we were watching the film and the character Jim Gordon came on the screen, I leaned over to Robin and said “That dude looks like the Kokanee Ranger.” What I should have said was “Gary Oldman looks like the Kokanee Ranger.” [sorry to all of you that have not seen the Kokanee commercials you may not get this reference; it’s a Canadian thing.]

Gary Oldman Kokanee Ranger

It wasn’t until the end of the movie when I saw the credits and I realized that it was in fact Gary Oldman. I understand that he played the same role in “Batman Begins,” but again I must have not noticed him.

The actor Gary Oldman is an enigma to me (and to those that are afflicted with Oldmanidentisis).

I do not think there is any treatment for this condition. I am screwed. I am going to live my whole life not being able to identify Gary Oldman. I just hope that I am not the only one with Oldmanidentisis. Maybe it’s just me, but the images above do not look like the same person. Am I going crazy or is Oldmanidentisis really affecting my ability to watch Gary Oldman movies?

Please help create awareness for the debilitating disablitiy: Oldmanidentisis and Digg or Stumble Upon this article.

89 thoughts on “Will The Real Gary Oldman Please Stand Up”

  1. I don’t think you are alone in your suffering. Often times I will go to a party and people will ask me if I’m famous. I say no (I’m a programmer by day). And then they can’t think of Gary Oldman’s name, but can remember the film. “Really? You look like that guy from the 5th Element” (sometimes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, lately the Dark Knight), to which I replay “Gary Oldman?” and they nod in adoration. I’m glad that I now have a label for these people.

  2. Yeah, he’s pretty much a different person in every movie he’s in. I don’t blame you. It took me a while to connect Sirius Black with Zurg. But Gary Oldman is pretty awesome, so I think we can give him a break on his face-changing nonsense.

    George, I must agree with you, also. Edward Norton made The Incredible Hulk not suck; I blame Eric Bana for the suckitude of the 2003 Hulk.

  3. the one had me going “that was gary oldman?” was murder in the first. and i was a big fan from sid and nancy. totally didn’t recognize him. really liked him in leon aka the professional, too. everything, really.

  4. I think part of the reason that he is hard to identify at times is because he’s got a very changable face… he’s a regular chameleon and it doesn’t take a ton of makeup to make him look different.

    I always think of him when he was on Friends. He was the actor that gets drunk and makes Joey late for Monica and Chandler’s wedding.

  5. I thought myself and my very close group of friends were alone in noticing this! The way we figure it, Gary Oldman is secretly in EVERY movie. If he hasn’t been spotted in the cast, than he’s the explosion at the end.

  6. Completely agree. Every time I see a movie with him in it, I don’t know until the credits. Gary fucking Oldman was in that? And then you can’t even figure out who he played!

    It’s not just the face. It’s also the voice – he’s changed his accent in every film he’s made. It makes a huge difference!

  7. I have never been able to identify Gary Oldman myself. Though I always knew of him and knew he was a popular actor and knew the movies he was in. Just shows that the man is good at what he does, which is convince you he’s someone else.

  8. Omg now I know I am not alone! I have never been able to distinguish him in movies. I also did not even know he was Zorg O.o. Obviously he’s a very versatile actor

  9. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I was thinking about writing this exact same article, but you have done a much better job than I would have. I had a whole conversation about having the exact same problem with my friend.

  10. Interesting Fact, Gary Oldman was in “The Professional” which also starred Natalie Portman. One of the previous posters must have $*** Bricks when he saw that movie.

  11. Oh, my God! I’m glad I’m not the only one. Seriously, unless I know who he’s playing ahead of time, I can never spot him even if I know he’s in the movie. It drives me nuts. It doesn’t help that he can put on a convincing American accent. Thank you so much for this.

  12. I remember in high school, I showed a close friend Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and she then became obsessed with Gary. She actually did this really big end of the year project on him. I was so proud!

  13. Another difficult one, Benicio Del Torro. I didn’t start recognizing him until Sin City, but he was in just about everything

  14. i love gary…great actor,he’s such a shapeshifter!and HOT!!!and i love those piercing blue eyes*blushes*i had quite a hard time relating Norman Stansfield to Zorg to Sirius Black to Drexl Spivey….he’s just perfect!!!

    i still remember him from friends though…”is that MY arse???”LOLLLLLL! and on leon(aka the professional)”bring me everyone…EVERYOOONNNEEE!!!!!!!!!!!”

    and FRANK,ARE YOU SINGLE???;-)

  15. my math teacher was always telling me that gary oldman was a good actor and I knew he was in fifth element and then later learned that he was in dracula, but I did not up until this point know he was in the Dark Knight or Batman Begins (and I saw the Dark Knight five times in theaters)

  16. You can add his role in the movie “Hannibal”…
    One cannot make him out in his role until they see the end titles

  17. i too suffer from Oldmanidentisis, in fact, i didnt even realise he was in batman until i read this article on it, and i quite like gary oldman, i think he is a cool actor, does the fact that i do not recognise him as the actor, but only the characters he plays mean that he is an even better actor than i originally thought, as he plays it so well that there is no gary oldman left, only the part he plays?

  18. Thats just because gary oldman is probably the best actor in acting right now.

    he just completely transforms into each of his roles

  19. i suffer from that too! i swear every movie i see him in i fail to recognize him. i thought it was just me!!!!!!!

  20. When I saw airforce one and somebody was like “that’s sirius black” my was blown. so, yeah i have it too.

  21. I loooooove Gary Oldman!
    Although i seem to have a weird crush, on a man much older than me, i find it extremely hard to identify him in movies. Being the loser that i am, i know him best for his roles in The Dark Knight and Harry Potter, but i watched Murder in the First and The Scarlett Letter for school and didn’t even realize and had i hard time making out who this fimiliar character was.

  22. I completely agree with you – I am so relieved to have stumbled across your page. I too have struggled with identifying Gary Oldman. Yes indeed, the pictures you include on your page are proof enough that Gary Oldman is indeed a chameleon. I have always had trouble with knowing what he actually looks like. Thwarted I have been by his varied appearances and roles. Since the day that Bramstokes Dracula ventured on to the silver screen I have watched movies without realising that he stars in them!!!
    If he walked down the street I still wouldn’t recognise him. What’s his secret?
    The Gary Oldman intrigue started for me when I thought I fancied him, then didn’t because he looked so completely different in some other film, then I saw him in sth else and fancied him again, then decided no, no that’s not what he looks like….sigh it will never be truly decided. I must bow down to the greatness of Gary Oldman and his ever-changing face. I wonder if he does get recognised much in the street?

  23. I too, consider myself a movie master, seeing subtle stuff in movies that few others pick up.

    And I totally have oldmanidentisis… This should be added in his wikipage

  24. I thought I was the only one! Everytime I see a movie with him in it, i never recognize him. He has this magical ability to transform into the character he is playing. I love it. I hate seeing a movie with an actor who looks like every other role they have played and does’t let you connect to the movie.

  25. Oldman is a pretty fantastic actor but short of a full latex facial prosthesis I would recognise him in any role. The fact you guys can’t is likely a neurological malfunction that you all share and is likely fairly common in the population. There are probably other faces that when removed from an expected context you find it hard to recognise them. Prosopagnosia is the profound form of the disorder but I put forward here you all suffer from a related but lesser for of it.

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