Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

Gary Oldman doesn’t seem like the usual geek icon. He’s well known by film fans and critics as one of the great actors of this generation, but he’s not what you’d call a movie star in the way Will Smith is.

Still he’s had some really impressive roles both in fiction and as historical figures. Its also amazing how weirdly different he looks in all these movies. While by no means a comprehensive list, I’ll spotlight some of my favorite faces of Gary Oldman.

Zorg – The Fifth Element

“I don’t like warriors. Too narrow-minded, no subtlety. And worse, they fight for hopeless causes. Honor? Huh! Honor’s killed millions of people, it hasn’t saved a single one.”
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg is the “villian” of the movie, though I suppose you could argue that the evil planet speeding toward Earth was a greater one. Oldman was directed by Luc Besson, who also provided him with a memorable, though less weird, role in “Leon” a few years prior.
Zorg is an industrialist and weapons dealer who with the aid of some alien henchman and Tricky is out to kill Milla Jovavich and Bruce Willis before they can do… Whatever it is that happens in that movie. I’ve seen it a dozen times or more and I don’t quite understand it, but the art direction is wonderful, especially on Zorg’s hair. If he didn’t look odd enough, his bizarrely urban southern accent seals the deal.

DraculaBram Stoker’s Dracula
A bona-fide freak of nature. Dracula had, and has, a very defined and cliched look. At least he did in portions of this film. Other parts he looks very much the dignified Count. As in Fifth Element, art and costume direction really take control and make the look immediately striking, though Oldman’s performance sells the character as a real terror.

Ludwig Von Beethoven – Immortal Beloved

As historic roles go, this is probably Oldman’s biggest. One of the biggest names in music, Oldman not only brought a well acted portrait of the composer, he also played piano for the role.

Sirius BlackHarry Potter
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
I’ll admit to not being totally up on the whole Harry Potter thing. In researching Oldman’s strangest and most notable roles, I came across this name, and decided this was probably another villain for the list. Then my wife explained the character to me and he sound pretty cool so I’ll have to check out these movies sooner or later.

James GordonBatman Begins
The role of Jim Gordon in the past has been largely as a seasoned veteran and Batman’s trusted ally. Batman Begins was an excellent telling of the Batman origin, and introducing us to who Gordon is. No period clothing or outlandish accents, Jim is a simple cop, but Oldman brings his dedication to the greater good through in his performance.

Sid Vicious – Sid & Nancy

A true breakout performance, playing the doomed bass player for the doomed band The Sex Pistols. If Oldman’s best performances have been villains, surely this drug addict who spit on his fans and hit them with his instrument at concerts was what started the trend.

Lee Harvey OswaldJFK
Wanna talk about villians? How about one of the most infamous assassins in US History? Oliver Stone’s sprawling and exhaustive conspiracy theory laid out the case for Oswald not acting alone, though surely having the name on his resume insured Oldman’s place a go to actor, even if his role in the movie wasn’t as big as you might think.

Whats your favorite Gary Oldman role?