Before They Were Stars (2-for-1 Special): Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in “Meantime”

After the Academy Award nominations are announced, I love to spend the week doing “Before They Were Stars” features on some of the nominees to show how far they’ve truly risen. It astonished me when I realized that Gary Oldman’s nod for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was the first Oscar nomination of his long and storied career. In 1983, the 25-year old Oldman took his second career film role in a British made-for-TV movie called Meantime and wound up crossing paths with another young, unknown actor who was destined for bigger things: Tim Roth! The 22-year old Roth (in what was only HIS second film role) plays a shy young man from an impoverished family who befriends a vicious neighbourhood skinhead played by Oldman. The talent pool for this little made-for-TV movie was pretty large, as it also featured an early role for Alfred Molina and was directed by future multiple-time Academy Award nominee Mike Leigh. Yes, I’m as shocked as you are that a downbeat film about depressed, dysfunctional people would be directed by Mike Leigh!

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