Gary Oldman plays Winston Churchill in the upcoming biopic The Darkest Hour, which is released in cinemas this month and has already been acclaimed by critics.
However, the headlines recently haven’t been for his acting performance (which I am betting my life on is amazing) but rather for his props used to recreate the look of Winston Churchill.
Famous for his cigar smoking Gary Oldman admitted on the Graham Norton Show that the cigar budget was more than what some of the actors were paid.
He admitted he was on around 12 cigars a day which were valued around £50 a stick reaching a budget of around $30,000 (£25,000).
He also admitted “We had a Christmas break. Everybody went off and decorated their Christmas tree, and went off shopping, and I went to have a colonoscopy! That was my Christmas present.”
No wonder, I consider myself a cigar smoker but 12 per day is pushing it. Too much of anything is bad for you. I would have loved to have been the props manager on that movie.
Winston Churchill is one of the most famous cigar smokers, so famous a cigar size was named after him. Reportedly during WW2 when London was bombed one of his first telephone calls was to JJ Fox to check if his cigars were OK.
Even today in the basement of JJ Fox cigar shop, there is a mini museum and you can even sit in his chair.
According to the Telegraph, Historians and biographers have criticized a disclaimer, which appears in the final credits, which alerts viewers to the “serious health risks” that accompany smoking.
“The depictions of tobacco smoking contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration and are not intended to promote tobacco consumption,” the health warning begins.
Royal biographer Hugo Vickers suggested that the film-makers should have added a further line stating: “Sir Winston Churchill lived to be 90”.
Historian Richard Evans, a specialist in modern European history at Cambridge University, said: “I don’t suppose the film will prompt many to rush out and buy cigars”.
Darkest Hour is A thrilling and inspiring true story which begins on the eve of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.
Check out the trailer here and let us know once you’ve seen it if you think it makes you want to smoke a cigar. Even the trailer makes me want to smoke one.
Please smoke cigars responsibly.