I have had that very thought many times – especially when they’re doing the “hand me the keys you cocksucker” thing. The only one I see as being out of character is Byrne. Has anybody ever seen him do Walken?
Going back to the questions in the OP, Walken actually boasts about the fact that he’ll take any role that’s offered to him. He figures the most important thing is to keep working. It’s also interesting that he’s actually never been well paid for acting. For an actor who’s 62 years old, well known, and still constantly working, he hasn’t been very well paid over the years for his roles. It’s only recently that he can start to expect to be paid over a million dollars for a film role. Yeah, that’s a lot of money to you and me, but it’s chicken feed for the big-name actors. It’s distinctly unusual that an actor should be making his biggest paychecks while in his sixties.
It’s also interesting what a stable person he is. I know he looks like somebody just released from decades in an insane asylum, but in fact he’s a hard worker who’s changed little over the decades. He’s been married to the same woman since 1969. He’s been in show business since he was a child and appeared in TV shows when he was 10.
In addition to the many fine roles mentioned (The Prophecy being a particular favourite), some of my other favourites include:
His Puss-in-Boots in some fairytale series - he sings, he dances, he is very catlike.
J-Man in the Black/Stiller movie “Envy”
a recording I have of him reading Poe’s “The Raven” - just perfect!
He was really good in a movie called “At Close Range”, with Sean Penn (and Chris Penn?) and Mary Stuart Masterston(?). I have it on tape from my crush-on-Walken days (I am not ashamed) and it’s very good movie overall. Chilling, but not over the top. The mundane side of evil, in a way.
Deer Hunter, Annie Hall, Pennies from Heaven, and Dead Zone, all good. He’s certainly been in a lot of bad movies.
I think the **Dead Zone ** was the highlight of his career but he is such a good actor that he stands out in bad movies, mediocre movies and small roles.
His scene in Pulp Fiction was incredible.
He was great in the Prophesy and Prophesy II (mediocre movies at best)
He was good in Blast from the Past as the Father.
He was even good in Joe Dirt an awful movie.
I was home sick one day around 97 or 98 and he was listed as the guest. So I decided to watch it. The interview was hilarious. He had obviously decided to have fun with it and completely freaked out the Hosts. He deadpanned the entire interview and gave answers that probably had them thinking that he was a serial killer. The man is a genius.
My wife says it was July 26 of 1999.
One of my favorite parts of the movie.
Loved him in Blast from the Past.
And – yay! – I get to be first to mention him as a song-and-dance man in Pennies from Heaven.
As much as I like Johnny Depp (and as much as I HATED the movie), Walken really should have played Willy Wonka in last year’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I can’t think of any other song-and-dance men who are creepier, and that includes Depp and Mr. Brian Warner (aka Marilyn Manson). Plus, he has worked with Tim Burton before (completely wasted in Batman Returns).
That reminds me, I loved Walken as the Headless Horseman.
I refuse to buy the Walken SNL DVD until it’s reissued with him & Julia Sweeney on “Stalk Talk”.
“I’m the bird! I’m the bird!”
I beat you to it.
OH! Sgt. Toomey in BILOXI BEACH!
Max Schreck in Batman Returns.
Max Zorin in A View To A Kill, although I think any Christopher Walken supervillan with money would wipe the floor with James Bond’s tuxedoed ass in real life.
He’s probably the only man on the planet who looks less scary than normal when wearing a pointy teeth prosthetic
Yes. (It’s Biloxi Blues.) That might have been the least comic character in all Neil Simon’s oeuvre. At least until the aunt in Lost in Yonkers.
This role was what made me enamoured with him…I saw that movie in the theatre seven times and each time was more and more focused on him than any other character.
Anyone else enjoy his role in Catch Me If You Can and Excess Baggage?
That was the one I popped in to mention: cast totally against type, and really showed his acting chops as the loser salesman dad.
His deadpan cameo in Mouse Hunt, as the deranged rodent exterminator, who treats the mouse like Viet Cong and tries to think his way into its head to figure out what it will do next, is hilarious.
I love him in absolutely everything he does, even Gigli (especially Gigli - he’s insane), but first fell for him in the underrated Hitchcockian flick Nick of Time (with Johnny Depp). He is truly in peak form- and has a mustache!
He was very good in American Playhouse: Who Am I This Time?, one of the better Vonnegut adaptations out there.
His “dancing for the tribe” in Around The Bend was a perfect bit of acting. A great role in a great movie.