Gary Oldman at the premiere of Robocop at the BFI IMAX Southbank in London on February 5, 2014. Photo: Suzanne Plunkett

London - Gary Oldman has branded himself an “a-hole”.

The 'Dark Knight Rises' actor thinks he should “know better” than to have made the comments he did in a recent interview - in which he defended Alec Baldwin after his homosexual slur and Mel Gibson for using racist and anti-Semitic slurs and branded political correctness “c**p” - and is aware he should be using his fame to be an “inspiration”.

He said: “I'm a public figure. I should be an example and an inspiration, and I'm an a-hole. I'm 56 and should know better.”

Gary admitted he din't realize how “offensive and insensitive” his comments were until he read them back afterwards.

Speaking on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live', he said: “I said some things that were poorly considered and once I had seen it in print I could see that it was offensive, insensitive, pernicious, and ill-informed.

“Words have meaning. They carry weight and they carry on long after you've said them and I don't condone or excuse the words I used in any context. I just basically shouldn't have used them in any context, but I did and I have deeply injured and wounded a great many people.

The 'Harry Potter' star went on to stress how “profoundly sorry” he feels, particularly for letting down his fans.

He added: “I appreciate you having me here and extending your hospitality to put me in this seat once again and it gives me the opportunity to say to those people that I from my heart, I am profoundly sorry and deeply apologetic.

“Especially to the fans because they have been so incredible to me and very loyal. My nickname [for them is] 'Team Oldman' and I really feel that I let them down.” - Bang Showbiz and IOL