Christoph Waltz Bio

Christoph Waltz was born on October 4, 1956 in Vienna, Austria to Johannes Waltz and Austrian-born Elisabeth Urbancic, set and costume designers. Before becoming a big name in American cinema with Inglorious Basterds, Waltz was very well known to German and Austrian audiences. His career began 1977 appearing in the German TV movie Der Einstand and Feuer! in 1979. Being fluent in German, English and French helped his career substantially, allowing him to appear to audiences across the world, and increasing his exposure to foreign audiences. He made his debut in Australia with 1985’s The Alien Years and to French audiences in 1988’s Quicker Than the Eye.

Ironically, in 1989 he appeared as “German spy” in Goldeneye, a TV documentary airing on the BBC which told the story of Ian Fleming, the author and creator of James Bond. Earlier this year it was announced that Waltz would be the main antagonist in the next James Bond feature Spectre expected for release in 2015.

 

Christoph Waltz and Quentin Tarantino

When Quentin Tarantino wrote Inglorious Basterds, he worried that the character of SS officer Hans Landa would be impossible to cast. The character was multi-lingual, charming, friendly and entirely evil. Waltz was cast, and already spoke the languages necessary for the role. He even learned some Italian to get by in the lobby scene. The uncastable role had been cast and Waltz ended up winning an Academy Award for the effort. He would win yet another in Tarantino’s controversial followup Django Unchained.

These films secured Waltz’s place as an A-lister in American cinema, and has since worked with directors like Terry Gilliam and Roman Polanski.

 

Christoph Waltz in Big Eyes

Big Eyes is Waltz’s most recent film, and his first time working with director Tim Burton. It is a biopic that follows Walter Keane (Waltz) and wife Margaret Keane (Amy Adams). Margaret was a talented artist who created the popular paintings of children with big eyes. Her husband, a talented marketer and talker took credit for the work and devised a way to mass produce the work for a small amount of money. It made them both very rich but took a toll on their marriage, leading to a very bitter divorce case which saw the truth of the situation reveal itself. Burton was a longtime collector and admirer of Keane’s work and sought Waltz specifically for the role of Walter Keane.

The film has garnered positive reviews, with critics lauding Waltz and Adams’ performances as well as the social commentary present in the plot. Burton was also commended for his direction, as Big Eyes was such a departure from his usual style and subject.

 

Christoph Waltz Interview

Waltz spoke to us about Big Eyes which he felt was a major role in his career. Playing Walter Keane, Waltz had the challenge of taking on the persona of a man whose sheer desire to be a successful artist coupled with his intense charisma allowed him to dupe the world and keep his skilled wife silent and hard at work for years. Waltz, who was recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, admitted that capturing Keane’s complexity was challenging.

“My conviction is you can’t play what’s not written and my conviction is that also that you have to make a great effort to find what’s written–what’s really written,” Waltz told uInterview exclusively. “It comes down to luck. I’m just lucky to get the great parts.”

Christoph Waltz News