Often portraying a bizarre villain with questionable hair, Oscar winner Christopher Walken has enjoyed a long and colourful career in Hollywood. His first feature film debuted in 1969 with his breakthrough role coming in 1977 with the film Annie Hall, and he won an Academy Award for The Deer Hunter one year later. Supporting roles continued after this and he has since appeared in over 100 films. A widely respected and distinctive actor, Christopher Walken is on fine form again with his performance in Seven Psychopaths. Here we appreciate some of Walken’s most memorable, diverse roles over the years.
A perfect candidate for a James Bond villain, Walken perfectly embodied the insane industrialist Max Zorin, who plots to destroy Silicon Valley through earthquakes and monopolize the microchip industry. He sports a “really bad blond wig” that adds to his fiendish ways in A View to a Kill (1985).
￼In Batman Returns (1992), Walken’s strange charisma as another villainous dodgy-haired businessman ‘Max Shreck’ made him stand out among the other two villains: Danny Devito’s Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, in this Burton Batman film.
Pulp Fiction (1994) intertwines the lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife and a pair of small time criminals in four tales of violence and redemption. This film is best known for its eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humour and violence, and it’s highly stylized direction. Walken contributes an interesting and famous monologue about a golden watch, in this seven-time Oscar nominated film.
In true Tim Burton style, Sleepy Hollow (1999) is a dramatically darker version of the Washington Irving story, and the Disney version of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Focusing on the background of the Headless Horseman, Walken made the part truly horrifying; dead silent and sharp toothed.
Retelling the true story of teenage Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio), the man who conned millions of dollars before his 19th birthday, Catch Me If You Can (2002) is a biographical crime film. Skilfully posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a doctor in Georgia, and a Louisiana prosecuter, Abagnale became so notoriously skilled that the FBI came to him for help with check fraud. Walken’s role as Abagnale’s father earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
The 2005 hit film Wedding Crashers is a hilarious tale of two friends, John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), that “crash” wedding parties to meet women, keeping to a set of rules taught to them by a past crasher. Complete with cover stories and fake identities, they inevitably become the hit of every reception. After a series of greatly successful crashes, Jeremy brings John to a wedding for the daughter of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, William Cleary (Walken). The boys join the dysfunctional but loving Cleary family on a weekend getaway and the entertainment doesn’t stop.
Debuting in the UK on 5 December 2012, Seven Psychopaths is a comedic tale of an unlikely group of ‘dog-nappers’ who find themselves in trouble when they steal a violent gangster’s beloved dog. Walken is portrayed as the ‘non-violent one’ of the seven, and delivers his role with cunning suave in this hilarious new comedy.
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS is released in the UK tomorrow ,5th December 2012, stay tuned for review.
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