Gary Oldman's co-stars in new Second World War film Darkest Hour have recalled how they felt when seeing him in make-up for the part for the first time.
The British veteran has already received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in the US for his role as Winston Churchill in the film, which is released here later this month.
Oldman spent more than four hours in make-up and costume each day to be fitted into the silicone face mould and foam bodysuit he needed in order to look like the politician.
The results are incredible; his co-stars Kristen Scott Thomas and Lily James say there was an "audible gasp" when they saw the star in full costume for the first time.
"We had four weeks of rehearsal before we started shooting… and the first day of the rehearsal there was a big read-through around a table and all the cast members are invited to come and in walks Winston Churchill," says Scott Thomas, who plays Churchill's wife Clementine.
"That was Gary in his full get-up, and there was an audible gasp in the room and some people stood up.
"It was really, really, really impressive, and he set the bar really high so it was easy to believe; after that, it was so helpful to us.
"It was much easier to be Clementine like that."
Lily James, who stars as Churchill's secretary Elizabeth Layton, remembers the moment too.
"It was ridiculous, he sort of walked in and it was like Gary left and Churchill arrived," she says.
"It was so complete and so transformative and so uncanny: the voice, the walk, the look - everything.
"Every actor around that table had to raise their game and meet him and join him, and there were some great actors round that table so it was really exhilarating and thrilling to be part of that."
The film focuses on what was happening in Westminster during Churchill's first few days in power leading up to the Dunkirk evacuation.
James thinks Oldman's appearance on set helped create the right chemistry between their characters.
"He would be Gary during the day but coming out of Churchill's body, which was nice because it puts everyone at ease and there was a sense of humour and fun about it all," she says.
"It definitely became a sort-of relationship where I was Elizabeth and he was Churchill... we had a nice connection in that way and there were jokes and an intimacy that felt very right and proper for what they shared."
Oldman isn't the only star James has worked with this year to find themselves in the awards race.
Her Baby Driver co-star Ansel Elgort is also up for a gong at the Golden Globes.
James says she is not surprised to see them both in the running for awards.
"I never would have imagined to have worked with the calibre of actors that I've had the opportunity to work with," he says.
"I knew with Ansel too and Gary, I did feel I was with people that really lost themselves into a role and I feel grateful to have just shared those moments with [them] because as an actor it's the best feeling in the world when you feel like you're really finding a truthful moment between two people that aren't yourselves. I love it."
For Scott Thomas, it wasn't just the cast she was impressed by while making Darkest Hour.
"This was a very magical film-set, because the sets were quite extraordinary, and the detail that went in to the war rooms particularly was just extraordinary," she says.
"You would open a drawer and there would be an old-fashioned pencil and a proper pad from the period - the detail was just extraordinary."
Darkest Hour is out in UK cinemas on 12 January.
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