10 Reasons Christopher Walken is Both Creepy and Awesome20
By Jason L. Cooper
10 Reasons Christopher Walken is Both Creepy and Awesome
Reality can be a pretty difficult thing for some people to handle. Sometimes the pressure can make you snap or just succumb to a dull chronic depression. But what if you could escape? What if you could ignore all the pressures and be someone else – someone successful, mysterious, respected and awesome? If you could face difficult situations as, say, Christopher Walken, they would certainly be easier to handle. No? That’s exactly what a chap named ‘Chris’ attempts in the short film WALKENTALK. It’s a fun and creepy experiment in walking the walk of Walken.
What kind of perks would you enjoy wearing the pants of one of the most awesome yet creepy actors of our time?
1. He Can Dance
As a fellow with two left feet, I have a deep respect for folks who can dance. Christopher Walken, he can dance. The way he moves is smooth, classy and effortless – like sipping a gin and tonic in a tuxedo at George Clooney’s Italian villa. Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice music video, was our introduction to Mr. Walken’s secret talent. It won 6 MTV Music Awards in 2001, was voted the Best Music Video of All Time in a UK survey the following year and, adding to the awesome, Walken himself helped choreograph it.
2. The Way He Talks
Some performers are just as famous for the way they talk as they are for their acting chops. Distinct patterns of speech help define an actor—think Jack Nicholson or William Shatner. Christopher Walken’s voice is not only distinct but also unsettling creepy. It’s deliberate and distant all at the same time. Menacing and darkly nurturing. It’s almost as if he’s up to something. They way he speaks is so disturbing that If you ever have to ask Christopher Walken for directions, I would think twice before following them.
3. The Man Likes to Cook
Though the Food Network won’t give him his own show (perhaps because Alton Brown has to host everything), Mr. Walken is an excellent cook. A few years ago he became an Internet sensation when he posted a video online, teaching us his time-tested recipe for chicken and pears. (It’s good. I’ve tried it.) And hey, just a thought; you know what might help save NBC? Walken hosting Cooking With the Stars.
4. Dark Secrets Follow Him
Let me preface this by saying that I love C.W., and I am not implying anything, simply stating facts. Creepy facts. In November of 1981, Christopher Walken was filming the sci-fi movie Brainstorm. The day after Thanksgiving he took a brief holiday with fellow actors Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood on their yacht, Splendour, which they anchored off Santa Catalina Island in California. On the night of November 28th, Natalie Wood fell overboard and drowned. People anchored nearby heard the sounds of partying, calls for help and calls in response to someone in the water. The coroner’s report stated that Natalie Wood was intoxicated at the time of her death and ruled the drowning accidental. In March of 2010, Natalie Wood’s sister, Lana, decided to re-open the case of her death, thinking there may have been foul play. What really happened remains a mystery to this day. If someone knows what really happened, they’re not saying.
5. He Makes Marriage Look Easy
Though the divorce rate in the USA is always in flux, it tends to hover around 50%. In Hollywood, it’s even worse. So the fact that Christopher Walken’s only marriage, to casting director Georgianne Walken, is still going strong is commendable. When you realize that they’ve been married since 1969, it’s mind-blowing.
6. Knows a Good Name When He Hears It
Christopher Walken was born Ronald Walken, named after the actor Ronald Colman. After appearing in numerous TV appearances throughout the early 1950’s credited as ‘Ronnie Walken,’ including one with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, young Ronnie, who had just played a character named ‘Chris,’ decided to change his name to Christopher when a friend told him that he thought it suited him better.
7. Tried to Thwart James Bond
In 1985, Walken dyed his hair blond and tried to destroy California’s Silicon Valley as James Bond’s nemesis Max Zorin in the 007 adventure A View to a Kill. Though unsuccessful in his plot – and ultimately plummeting to his demise from the Golden Gate Bridge – Walken’s sinister doings inexplicably ended Roger Moore’s stint as James Bond.
Walken is also the only person to have won an Oscar AND tried to kill James Bond – though not in the same movie.
8. Is Part of the ‘Almost’ Club
The world of cinema is full of ‘Almosts’ and ‘Could Have Beens.’ Tom Selleck could have been Indiana Jones (Indy with a ‘stache?) but couldn’t because of his TV commitments. Eric Stoltz was almost Marty McFly in Back to the Future. (In fact, he was McFly for 5 weeks until he was re-cast.)
Mr. Christopher Walken was the second choice to play one of the most iconic figures of my childhood—and probably everyone else’s in the world as well. After Nick Nolte didn’t work out, George Lucas wanted Chris Walken to portray the loveable, black-vested scifi rapscallion himself, Han Solo.
9. Could Have Been the President of the United States of America. Maybe.
In 2006, some geniuses of the Internet started a hoax that could have changed the shape of a nation. Fellows at the Internet forum genmay.com announced that Christopher Walken was running for President in 2008. The website, walken2008.com, inspired a small revolution and made people think that Walken was really going to throw his hat into the ring. There were posters, t-shirts, stickers — they even wrote him a mission statement. I, for one, was excited as hell. It turned out, as we now know, that is was indeed a hoax. Walken’s publicist had to deny it.
When Conan O’Brien asked him about it in an interview later that year, Walken said that the whole thing really amused him. When Conan asked what his campaign slogan would be, Walken said perhaps, “What the Heck?” or “No More Zoos.”
10. More Cowbell!
“I got a fever. And the only prescription is…”
Well, you know the rest. Christopher Walken has hosted Saturday Night Live seven times. He made such an impression, that he has a standing invitation from Executive Producer Lorne Michaels to host whenever he wants to. Walken took part in a lot of spoofs and originated some classic characters, including one of my favorites, The Continental. He will go down the in the SNL Hall of Fame, though, for his portrayal of Bruce Dickinson, a fictional music producer who had to have “More Cowbell!” during Blue Oyster Cult’s original recording of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Once uttered, those two simple words solidified Walken as a comedy powerhouse and, I am guessing, caused a 200% rise in the sale of cowbells to fraternities throughout the country.
Jason L. Cooper is a writer and wine-drinker who lives in Los Angeles, CA but wishes he lived in Portland, OR. He’s worked on several feature films, most recently Cats & Dogs II: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. His latest book of poems, Losing the Perfect Battle, was nominated for nothing prestigious-sounding. He has a lovely wife, a swell kid, and two spoiled dogs and would someday like to own a motor home.