Gary Oldman got nicotine poisoning after smoking $20,000 worth of cigars for Winston Churchill film

Actor reveals the lengths he went to for 'Darkest Hour' biopic

Gary Oldman has revealed that he gave himself “serious nicotine poisoning” after smoking nearly $20,000 (£14,800) worth of cigars during filming of his new Winston Churchill biopic film.

Darkest Hour, directed by Joe Wright (AtonementPride & PrejudicePan) stars Oldman, as well as Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn and Kristin Scott Thomas. It is scheduled to hit cinemas on December 22 in the US and January 12 in the UK. Watch a trailer for the film here.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Oldman revealed that he made himself ill after smoking 400 cigars over the course of a 48-day shoot.

“I got serious nicotine poisoning,” he said. “You’d have a cigar that was three-quarters smoked and you’d light it up, and then over the course of a couple of takes, it would go down, and then the prop man would replenish me with a new cigar — we were doing that for 10 or 12 takes a scene.”

Director Wright, however, said that the price was worth paying, adding: “It’s Winston Churchill. You can’t have Winston Churchill without a cigar.”

Meanwhile, the film’s synopsis reads: “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.”