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Christopher Walken: “That’s it, it’s over”

January 9, 2013

Mr. Walken, has anybody told you lately that you have great hair?

You know, it’s funny you say that because the lady who sold me a movie ticket in New York recently said, “You’ve got great hair!” It’s funny to have a stranger say to you, “Here’s your ticket. Wow, you’ve got really good hair.”

But you’ve always been into your hair, haven’t you?

Yeah and I’ve always had good hair.

How do you feel now that it’s gray?

it’s true, I wish I was young.

Is it that bad?

What happens now is… I remember I was in Toronto and I went to the movies. And there was a young girl at the counter and she automatically gave me the senior discount. That hadn’t really happened before. You know, they’ll ask you sometimes, but she just gave it to me automatically. And I thought, “That’s it, it’s over.”

At least you still seem to have the energy of a young man.

Yeah, but I’d still rather be young again.

What do you do to keep fit?

I exercise everyday. I have a treadmill and I do that 7 days a week. I do 2 miles and I watch Charlie Rose.

What’s the secret to maintaining a youthful attitude?

Well, just trying. It comes and goes. Green tea. I mean, my wife, I have a wife of almost 50 years, and I have a feeling that she looks after me a little bit like I was 7 years old. I don’t have kids. Maybe that has kept me young.

What about pets?

I have a cat.

What’s he called?



I had another cat who died, Flapjack. That’s the thing about cats, they die. Have you seen Henri, the French cat?

No, what is that?

Oh you have to see it. It’s hilarious. It’s on YouTube and it’s a cat who speaks French. And he’s very depressed. He says things like, “I’m surrounded by morons.” (Laughs) There’s a white cat that he lives with who he loathes. And he says, “Look at this idiot. All he thinks about are cheeseburgers.” I just saw it the other day and I tell everybody to watch it.

Who do you look up to, beside Henri the French cat?

Well, in my generation it’s obvious. When I was a kid it was Brando and Olivier.

Now you are an icon yourself.


Maybe not quite like Brando, but you’re more respected and admired than most people out there.

I’m just the oldest.

Well you have also been in some incredible films – the scene between you and Dennis Hopper in True Romance is one of my favorites of all time. Are you ever fully satisfied with your performances?

Oh, I don’t know. For me, in movies, it’s always a mixed bag. I’ve never made a movie where I thought, “You were really good in that movie; you were good all the time.” No. It’s always, “You didn’t get it, you didn’t do it in that scene, but the other scene is pretty good.” So I just hope that in balance there’s more good scenes than not.

Are you a perfectionist?

I don’t think it’s perfection. I think it’s just for real.

Thankfully the editor can take out most of your mistakes.

A lot of it has to do with the director, actually. There are certain directors where you know you’re going to be good or you’re not going to be there. There are people where you kind of know that if you miss the mark then it’ll probably not be in the movie and that’s very reassuring.

There are also people where that’s unfortunately not the case…

There are movies that I’ve made where I thought I was going to be good, but when it was cut it together it wasn’t. And there are a lot of movies that, for one reason or another, just don’t become popular. So to me it’s always been a little bit of a roll of the dice. That’s the way it goes. I’ve made quite a number of movies that I’ve never even seen and I’ve made some movies that I thought were good that nobody saw… Sometimes they end up on television, you know.

What’s it like when you come across an old film of yours on TV?

I’ve done a lot of things I cringe when I watch and some things I’m proud of… Movies are strange. You have to be a little bit lucky with them. I’ve never made a movie I wasn’t surprised to see.

Surprised in a good way?

Not necessarily, no. But I’m always surprised.

Do you have any regrets?

Well, yeah. You mean parts that I shouldn’t have taken?


Oh yes, absolutely.

For example?

No, no, I won’t go there…

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Short Profile

Name: Ronald Walken
31 March 1943
Place of Birth:
Queens, New York, USA

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16 Responses to this Interview

  1. I love Christopher Walken. I think he’s great in everything. Brainstorm is still my favorite, even though I know that was a rough film to do.

  2. Awesome interview! Mr. Walken is one of my favourite actors ever. I’ve seen almost every movie he did and most of them I’ve bought on DVD. Is really nice to see he’s still at the top.

  3. Great interview with a great actor. When I see Christopher Walken in a movie, I mostly always take a sigh of relief… Why? Because he has always seemed so real in his characters, I’ve never not believed him and he usually remains in my mind as the last character that I saw him play… gladly accepting the next as just as the newly expanded version of himself.

  4. great interview!! you gotta love chris! he’s awesome, cool and a superb actor!

  5. Christopher Walken is one of the finest and good looking talented best actor of all time. Definitely included in my list of Great Actors in Hollywood!! He’s just awesome!!!

    • It was a great interview! Simple but it satisfied me to hear your idol in some interview like this,that you will already notice how nice and smart he is.

  6. Great interview with a great actor and person , one of his greatist movies is ‘the deer hunter’ , i’ve seen a lot of good movies with Christopher Walken ….

  7. Christopher Walken is the most enigmatic actor. I love his smile. If I were to interview him I would ask him if he knew that when he filmed the Dead Zone and taught in his class about Sleepy Hollow he would one day play the lead in the film. Was it coincidence or did he choose the Sleepy Hollow role because of the Dead Zone reference.

  8. Great short interview. Christopher is one of those enigmatic personalities that have a great impact on me. I have a short list of people I’d love to photograph and enjoy a drink with, the late, great Robin Williams was number one; now Mr. Walken is number one.

  9. Taran J. Kootenhayoo

    “it’s true…I wish I was young.” Christopher Walken, you seem as honest in interview, as you do in your work. If you see this, it would be a real peach and honour to sit down with you for a beverage in some cafe in New York, to talk whatever. You seem like a real cool kat.


  10. His most powerful performance was in “Dead Zone”….a very good adaptation of King’s novel….

  11. I read the whole thing in his voice.

  12. Ronnie Shantz/Robinson

    ‘You didn’t get it, you didn’t do it in that scene, but the other scene is pretty good’. An opinion from a writer: perhaps if you stop stroking out all the writer’s directions in parenthesis which you stated you do before reading a script as you stated you do, it may make a difference. Just a thought from an unsuccessful writer to a top line pro, of course.

  13. great actor loved every film he,s been in love his evil face I can allways smell a grave yard ahah

  14. Movies and his roles that really sparked an interest for me, from past to present

    Anderson Tapes (1971)
    Deer Hunter (1978)
    Heaven’s Gate (1980)
    Brainstorm (1981-1983)
    Dead Zone (1983)
    At Close Range (1986)
    King Of New York (1990)
    Comfort of Strangers (1990)
    True Romance (1993)
    Pulp Fiction (1994)
    The Funeral (1996)
    New Rose Hotel (1998)
    Catch Me if You Can (2002)
    Man On Fire (2004)
    Romance & Cigarettes (2005)

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