‘Mank’: David Fincher Wanted Gary Oldman To Be “Au Naturel” In The Period Drama

If you’re a regular reader of this website, you know that we’re big fans of David Fincher. Not only is he just one of the best filmmakers working today, but he always seems to keep fans on their toes by expanding his filmography with interesting, unique projects. And that’s definitely the case with his upcoming Netflix film, “Mank,” a black and white period drama about the writer behind one of the greatest films of all time, “Citizen Kane.”

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But when film fans hear the words “black and white period drama,” they wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that Fincher’s film would feature actors dialing their personas up and acting a bit larger than life. And that’s what Gary Oldman thought when he was joining the cast as the title character, Herman “Mank” Mankiewicz. However, when he spoke to Fincher about the role, according to an interview with Empire, the filmmaker explained that he didn’t want Oldman to don a brand-new persona, be covered in tons of makeup and prosthetics, and melt away into the role of Mank. No, instead, Fincher wanted Oldman to be “au naturel.”

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“I thought, ‘Oh, fucking hell!’,” Oldman said. “I can’t remember the last time I did that. I’ve always got something! I was thinking, ‘I don’t know about that.’ I don’t look anything like Mank. There’s a similarity with [Tom Burke as] Welles and Amanda [Seyfried] kind of looks like [film star and Hearst’s lover] Marion Davies, and you’ve got this pale make-up on Charles Dance, so he resembles [William Randolph] Hearst. But I didn’t have anything I could anchor to. Then, once we started, I thought, ‘Yeah, Dave was right.’ No tricks. No nothing. Just: here it is. I’ve embraced it.”

Joining Oldman in the cast of Fincher’s latest are Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Sam Troughton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke, Joseph Cross, Jamie McShane, Toby Leonard Moore, Monika Gossmann, and Charles Dance.

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“Mank” has yet to be given an official release date other than “fall 2020,” however reports have positioned it in mid-to-late-October. So, those hoping for a David Fincher fix likely won’t have to wait too much longer.

You can see the two new photos below: