Christoph Waltz at the 2010 Academy Awards.
4 October 1956 |
Christoph Waltz (German pronunciation: [ˈkrɪstɔf ˈvalts]; born 4 October 1956) is an Austrian-German actor. Internationally, he is best known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. He received acclaim for his supporting roles as SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, Waltz won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Additionally, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.
Christoph Waltz was born in Vienna, the son of German-born Johannes Waltz and Austrian-born Elisabeth Urbancic, set and costume designers. His maternal grandfather, Rudolf von Urban, was a psychiatrist and psychologist who wrote the book Sex Perfection and Marital Happiness. His maternal grandmother was Burgtheater actress Maria Mayen, and his step-grandfather was actor Emmerich Reimers. His great-grandparents also worked in theatre.
Waltz studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. He also attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York. He started as a stage actor, performing at venues such as Zurich's Schauspielhaus Zürich, Vienna's Burgtheater, and the Salzburg Festival. He became a prolific television actor. In 2000, he made his directorial debut, with the German television production Wenn man sich traut. Before coming to the attention of a larger audience in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds he had played, in 1990, the role of Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann in the British TV series The Gravy Train. The show is a story of intrigue and misdeeds set in the offices of the European Union in Brussels. The series can be watched through Channel 4's player on YouTube.
In Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Waltz portrayed SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa, aka "The Jew Hunter". Clever, courteous, and multilingual, but also self-serving, cunning, implacable, and murderous, the character of Landa was such that Tarantino feared he "might have written a part that was un-playable". Waltz received the Best Actor Award for the performance at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and received acclaim from critics and the public. In 2009, he began sweeping critics' awards circuits, receiving awards for Best Supporting Actor from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and for Best Supporting Actor at the 67th Golden Globe Awards and the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2009.
The following year, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. He is, as of 2013[update], the only actor to win an Academy Award for appearing in a Tarantino film. Tarantino acknowledged the importance of Waltz to his film by stating: "I think that Landa is one of the best characters I've ever written and ever will write, and Christoph played it to a tee. It's true that if I couldn't have found someone as good as Christoph I might not have made Inglourious Basterds".
Waltz played gangster Benjamin Chudnofsky in The Green Hornet (2011); that same year he starred in Water for Elephants, opposite Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, and in Roman Polanski's Carnage. He played German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz, opposite Jamie Foxx, in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. During a training accident prior to filming, Waltz injured his pelvis. His role garnered him awards acclaim once again, with Waltz winning the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and ultimately the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His Oscar victory made him one of only three actors to win two Oscars for a supporting role under the direction of the same person (Walter Brennan and Dianne Wiest are the other two).
Waltz is fluent in German, French and English and speaks all three of the languages in both Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Although his character in Inglourious Basterds, Col. Hans Landa, also spoke Italian, Waltz stated on the Adam Carolla Podcast that he does not speak that language. He is his own voice actor for both the French and German dubs.
Waltz was born to a German father in Vienna, who applied for him to become a German citizen after his birth. Waltz received Austrian citizenship in 2010, thus holding citizenships of both Austria and Germany, but considers his German passport a "legal, citizenship law banality". Asked whether he felt Viennese, he responded: "I was born in Vienna, grew up in Vienna, went to school in Vienna, graduated in Vienna, studied in Vienna, started acting in Vienna – and there would be a few further Viennese links. How much more Austrian do you want it?"
Awards and nominations
- "Pass-Hickhack: Christoph Waltz wird im Eilverfahren zum Österreicher – Nachrichten Kultur" (in (German)). Welt.de. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Der Standard: Österreichische Staatsbürgerschaft für Christoph Waltz, 8 August 2010
- http://www.focus.de/panorama/boulevard/film-waltz-fuehlt-sich-definitiv-als-oesterreicher_aid_543712.html (21 January 2011). "Waltz fühlt sich definitiv als Österreicher – Boulevard". Focus.de.
- "Mainpost". MAIN-POST. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011.[dead link]
- Myself not least: a confessional autobiography of a psychoanalyst and some explanatory history cases, by Rudolf von Urban, p. 210
- Lim, Dennis (12 August 2009). "‘Inglourious’ Actor Tastes the Glory". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
- "IMDB". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "4oD Drama". Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- Fleming, Michael (17 May 2009). "Tarantino Reflects On 'Basterds'". Variety (Reed Business Information). Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- "BSFC Award Winners – Recent". Thebsfc.org. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
-  Oscar Nominations
- "''Inglorious Basterds feature". Network.nationalpost.com. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Borys Kit (30 September 2011). "Christoph Waltz Dislocates Pelvic Bone During 'Django Unchained' Training". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Christoph Waltz Signs to Star Opposite Michael Douglas in Reykjavik". Hollywood Reporter. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Saperstein, Pat (23 April 2013). "Nicole Kidman, Christopher Waltz, Ang Lee Among Cannes Jury Members". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "Berlinale 2014: International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
- Billington, Alex (2009-08-20). "Interview: Col. Hans 'The Jew Hunter' Landa – Christoph Waltz". First Showing. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
- Freydkin, Donna (26 January 2010). "At long last, movie stardom shines on Christoph Waltz". USA Today.
- Profile of Waltz at Global Post
- "Waltz to become Austrian citizen". Wiener Zeitung Online. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Waltz to become an Austrian citizen". 26 August 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Christoph Waltz.|
- Christoph Waltz at the Internet Movie Database
- Christoph Waltz Fans, Official Fan Website
- Christoph Waltz interviews on Charlie Rose