A notable blemish on the otherwise stellar resume of actor Gary Oldman is the role of Rolfe Bedalia in the film, Tiptoes. Something we say because Oldman was inexplicably cast as a dwarf when future Emmy award winning actor Peter Dinklage was like, right there on set with him the entire time. A casting choice Dinklage was actually kind of okay with because it meant he got to act alongside, big dick Gary Fucking Oldman.
As the most famous and pretty much little person currently working in Hollywood who gets to appear in blockbuster films, Peter Dinklage often finds himself being asked about his thoughts on the state diversity in the industry. A question that, as you might imagine, he’s kind of sick of talking about because the fact we literally just described him as the only little person in Hollywood probably tells you everything you need to know.
Anyway, when pressed about this issue, Dinklage has always been rather diplomatic and notes how his approach to changing the industry for the better has been to absolutely refuse to accept roles that he felt were demeaning such as leprechauns or elves. In fact, Dinklage’s resolve was so steadfast in this regard that he initially turned down the role of Tyrion Lannister until he was personally assured by the showrunners themselves that there’d be, in his own words –
With Dinklage only changing his mind about the former when he was assured that Tyrion was not only a well-rounded character with agency and a big swinging dick, but also all of the book’s best lines.
Moving back to Tiptoes the film controversially stars Gary Oldman, pretending to be a little person opposite Peter Dinklage. A part the film’s own trailer describes as, we shit you not, “the role of a lifetime“. As if this wasn’t offensive enough, so that he could physically and, convincingly? portray a little person, Oldman spent 90% of production walking around on his knees wearing a harness to artificially shorten his arms and a fake hump shoved under his shirt. A decision so tactless and offensive we’re not sure why they didn’t just go the whole hog and paint him fucking orange too.
Now while you’d assume this would have sorely pissed Dinklage off, the actor actually thought the film was okay, right up until the studio decided to fire the director and turn the film into a comedy.
You see, the film was initially going to be a drama with a more heartfelt message than “little people are funny” but the studio got cold feet and re-edited the entire thing to essentially turn the whole thing into a joke. Much to the annoyance of Dinklage who was understandably all kinds of pissed to be associated with the basterdised version of the film that was released.
As for Oldman’s heroicly poor attempt to convincingly portray a little person, Dinklage is a little more forgiving, largely because of Oldman’s sheer acting ability and body of work. With Dinklage explaining that, while he had some reservations about the whole thing, he wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to act alongside Gary Fucking Oldman. Noting very matter-of-factly that he’s good enough to do whatever the fuck he wants.