Christopher Walken

American actor

Christopher Walken (born March 31, 1943) is an American film and theater actor. Walken is a prolific actor who has spent more than 50 years on stage and screen. He has appeared in over 100 movie and television roles, including A View to a Kill, At Close Range, King of New York, Batman Returns and Pulp Fiction, as well as music videos by recording artists such as Madonna. He received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter.

Christopher Walken (2007)


  • I have this theory about words: There’s a thousand ways to say "Pass the salt." It could mean, you know, "Can I have some salt?" or it could mean, "I love you." It could mean "I’m very annoyed with you" – really, the list could go on and on. Words are little bombs, and they have a lot of energy inside them.
    • Shout Magazine, in the issue from August, in the article "Cookin' with Christopher Walken" (2001)
  • "Get these tubes away from me!"
    • from Joe Dirt (2001)
  • I have the easiest job in Hollywood, because I get paid to be me. What's the role? A milkman? 'Hey, I'm a milkman. Here's your milk.' 'Cut. Print.'
  • I play a lot of those parts, and it's a chicken-and-egg thing. I don't know whether you get scary because you play those parts or did you get those parts because you were scary? But I do believe that there's a very close connection to what's scary and what's funny. So I think if you have the ability to do one, you might have the ability to do the other.
    • The Toronto Star staff (July 20, 2007) "How Walken makes us laugh in fear", The Toronto Star, p. E01.
  • Well, I don't play heroes obviously. I never played the guy who gets the girl. It might be interesting to do a part where I was a father in a functional family.
    • Hap Erstein (October 29, 2004) "Walken Doesn't Mind Playing Creepy Type - As Long As He's Cast", The Palm Beach Post, p. 9.
  • “I’m Christopher Walken here!”
    • (The mean streets of New Jersey, 2014)
  • I won't retire. When you're an actor, you're forced to retire every few months. John Gielgud was 96 when he died, and he was working. It's good to work, whatever it is that keeps you interested. I would like to do that, I would like to keep going. I don't have kids, and I don't have hobbies. I don't particularly like to travel. If you're an actor, you have to travel anyway.
    • Dixie Reid (October 24, 2004) "'Bend' it like Walken - Actor has more to say about food and hair than acting", The Sacramento Bee, p. TK31.
  • I look for good possibilities in movies. I don't look for perfection.
    • Glenn Lovell: Knight Ridder Newspapers (October 18, 2004) "A mellow, reflective Christopher Walken", The Seattle Times, p. E8.
  • I'm not a big fan of other people's punctuation. When I read a script I've got a sort of automatic eraser. I don't see punctuation or capitals or instructions. I want to decide when the sentence is over. Who's to say when a sentence ends and the other one begins? Sometimes it begins in the middle of the next sentence.
  • I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising. Slow and steady is a very good thing for me. It works for me.
    • Douglas J. Rowe: The Associated Press (June 14, 2004) "Film bad guy Walken: 'Slow and steady is a very good thing for me'", The Grand Rapids Press, p. D5.
  • Careers are not often as chosen as people think they are. People talk to me about my choices. I don't make choices, hardly. Things happen, and you say yes or no - usually 'yes', because it's always better to do something. What's the choice? Somebody will say, 'Don't do that part, you don't need to do that part.' And I'll say, 'Why not? What am I going to do? Sit around the house? I'd much rather go to work, and see actors, and have fun.
    • William Leith (January 25, 2003) "Dancing in the Dark: He was a baby when he got his first showbiz break in the 1940s, and then firmly schooled in the song-and-dance tradition. So how did Christopher Walken end up as a master of evil?", The Guardian.
  • I think it's sort of a compliment. Jay Mohr does it in front of me all the time. I've got another friend who does me on his answering machine. When I call him, I hear myself.
    • On individuals' impressions of Walken, interview in Randy Cordova (December 22, 2002) "Workaholic Walken Is Marvelous 'Catch'", The Arizona Republic, p. E3.
  • I have a theory, that there is a terrific link between what is funny and what is scary. I think there is a very close connection between what frightens people and what makes them laugh. Laughter is a kind of nervousness. Animals don't laugh. Smiling is, anthropologists agree, directly linked to the baring of the teeth.
    • Jan Moir (March 11, 2002) "'You're not scared of me, are you?': Christopher Walken has cornered the market in movie menace. But, as Jan Moir discovers, he is just as unsettling in real life", The Daily Telegraph, p. 18.
  • I think that my strength as a villain is that the people watching me know that Chris knows that he's in a movie. He's playing. He's having fun. He's going bang, bang. You know, "What's that?"
  • It's a natural aspect of the marketplace. It's always been that way in storytelling. The guy who was good at playing the lover plays the lover, the funny guy gets the comic role. Movies are so expensive, when they put them together they want to have a couple of solid blocks in what they're building. I accept that. In theater, though, I tend to look for other things, I think I tend to be best in comedy.
    • Terry Lawson: Knight-Ridder Newspapers (February 18, 1996) "Weird, As In Walken - No, He's Not Really Nuts … Maybe", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. 3D.
  • I'm a better actor now than I ever was, I wish I could have hurried that up, but there's no way. Anyway, I always wanted to be around for a long time. Like a European actor, I hope I live a long time and that I'm acting until I finish.
    • Associated Press (February 4, 1993) "Christopher Walken shows charming side", The Toronto Star, p. F7.
  • I'm very nervous when I work in a film and very relaxed before a live audience. I like theater because it's more of an actor's medium. You can control your performance. In film you depend on the director to watch out for your ass, but in the theater you can take care of yourself.
    • Michael Blowen (August 17, 1980) "Walken's Success Spells Old Lifestyle, But Better Wines", The Boston Globe.


  • Walken is fascinating because he has a complex and fearless process -- each take is wildly different and he does that until he finds the one that is true perfection.
  • Everybody always wants to work with Christopher Walken. I think he's the most interesting actor working today. His choices are always dangerous, which makes for interesting work. You can watch him eat a bowl of cereal and you'd be riveted because he's just unpredictable.
    • Mars Callahan, interview in Bob Strauss (February 24, 2003) "Still racking them up - Christopher Walken, Oscar nominee and star of 'Poolhall Junkies,' has no intention of slowing his prolific career", The Whittier Daily News.
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