Christopher Walken: “Honestly, I was terrible in a lot of films”

Christopher Walken: “Honestly, I was terrible in a lot of films”

But not in Catch Me If You Can, to be seen again this evening on TV!

After Jeff Goldblum And Kyle MacLachlanthe Champs Elysées Film Festival hosted in June 2019 Christopher Walken. One of the most prolific actors of his generation, who is now starring in Dune: part twoand which will return this evening on W9 in Stop me if you can.

We can't resist the urge to reshare this interview without tongue in cheek, during which the actor spoke to us about dancing, money and his career choices.

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Christopher Walken, Did you initially intend to work in cinema?

In fact, I was a dancer until I was 30 and I became an actor a bit by accident, first in the theater and then I was spotted and so I arrived at the cinema. I have no regrets, it happened like that. So yes, it's true, afterward I did dance steps in quite a few of my films. I think it was a bit expected. A few years ago a critic wrote about one of my films: “and so, Christopher Walken gives us his usual dance move again”…as a result, I never started again!

And then, you know, to dance, you have to be very trained, like an athlete. After 40, it's hard. We have to stop, because we are too old.

But you loved dancing in movies. Hairspray for example…

Oh dear, that was different. I was hired precisely because I danced and Travolta needed a partner who was also a dancer. An excellent dancer, even. We both spent a lot of time rehearsing, actually. You know, when I found out he was going to play Edna Turnblad (I knew the original film and the musical) I asked myself: 'but how was he going to play such a fat woman?' And then, he had to lose weight and be in great shape to play with this enormous latex prosthesis. No, it was nice.

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You have made a lot of films. Not all, how can I put it…

(He cuts) You know, I never say no to a scenario. I've made way more films than I probably should have: over 100, many of which I haven't even seen. Obscure stuff. Stuff… I don't have any hobbies, I don't have children, so making films keeps me busy. It forces me to get up in the morning to do something and, above all, it keeps me alive! I read scripts, sometimes frankly not great, but I shot them anyway.

But you must get tons of them, couldn't you choose a few?

Not that much actually! Especially as I got older… And then I read scripts and said to myself: no, you shouldn't do this thing and I did it anyway. Because, to make cinema, in fact, you have to be optimistic. I said to myself that maybe with a little luck… Cinema is always a bit of a gamble. I think it was Brando who said this: 'Films are a bit like a game of dice!'

And you would say you were lucky?

Oh, yes, I have been very lucky in my career. And then, even if we don't have luck, at least we get paid! And after all, films aren't a question of life or death either. Honestly, I've been terrible at a lot of things, I've been in movies that embarrassed me, and I only have myself to blame. But that's not what kills you.

In the end, it's a balance: you do some pretty bad stuff, some pretty good stuff. And in the end, we hope it leans in the right direction. And fortunately, there are films that I am quite proud of: Journey to the end of hell, The King of New York, Stop me if you can

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And why, you who work all the time, have you no longer made TV series? You started in The Wonderful John Actonand then finished…

Yes, TV allows you to work. But we don't know what we're getting into. We sign and we receive 2/3 episodes, but the other 12, we don't know what it will be… And even if in the cinema, I play almost everything, on TV, it's a commitment of several years … If we're unhappy on a movie set, it doesn't matter, it's over in two months. On a series, it can last two years! And above all, there are always these dialogue slices. I know actors who learn super quickly. Me, I'm a needy person, very slow. Learn your text in a week? No thanks !

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