Christopher Walken is that actor that never seems to go out of style, and it's hard to believe that the actor celebrated his 70th birthday this week. He seems like he's always been with us, but wow, that's a lot of living! Below is a very cool infographic featuring his career and life reminding many that he had a big career before showing off his dancing skills in Fatboy's Slim's music video.
Walken has become known for his quirky characters, but he's said in several interviews that he hates it when he's sent an amazing script that he loves, and then a major rewrite is done that tailors it to what he calls 'Walkenising'. "Quite often, I'll be sent a script for a movie," he says. "And I find that I like it, so I say I'll do it. But then they rewrite it for me. They make it quirky. Odd. I find that rather annoying. I call it Walkenising." For anyone who's met the man, you know that his unlikely pauses and emphases which we know from his films, is part of his actual being. It definitely keeps you holding on for his the next word that falls from his lips.
He started out like anyone would expect from the actor. At 15, he joined a travelling circus, his duties including lion taming (he says he only worked with one lion, old and dog-like). Then came musical theatre. Cast as Riff in a touring production of West Side Story, the actor playing his girlfriend was called Georgianne Thon. He married her shortly thereafter. His off screen life is pretty conservative according to him, but it's his memorable on-screen characters he brings to life that makes us curious to see what his next film will be. In his own words, he describes his acting style, "That with every movie I make, there are some scenes where I'm good, and some where I'm not. With me, it's always hit and miss."
Image Source Thanks To Vue.
Below are just a few unknown facts about the man who's movie career has spanned some of the best and most interesting ones we've ever seen.
Did you know...
- Christopher Walken was born in Astoria, Queens where his father ran Walken's Bakery—serving mostly the German community in Long Island City.
- His real name is Ronald, but he went by Ronnie for a long time.
- He attended the Professional Children's School in Manhattan.
- During his teenager years, he worked as a lion tamer in a circus! Though he has said, "the lion was very old and really more like a dog."
- He originally wanted to be a dancer.
- His debut role was in J.B. at the ANTA Theater (now the August Wilson Theater) on 52nd Street in 1959.
- "His dream of being a dancer was somewhat realized in a string of musicals, including Best Foot Forward with Liza Minnelli."
- While taking on more screen roles in the 1970s, like Annie Hall, "he was still walking the theatrical boards in the Big Apple. He was a familiar face downtown in Central Park's Delacorte Theater and at the Public, performing Chekhov and Shakespeare."
- He has hosted Saturday Night Live seven times, and along with Alec Baldwin is the only actor with a standing offer from Lorne Michaels to host the show whenever his schedule permits.
- '80s Walken was simply striking—office mustache expert Chris Robbins calls this "the Sharpest of Staches," adding, "You could cut diamonds with that thing... you could cut samurai swords with that stache."