Biography of Christoph WaltzThe most charming villain of Holywood Christoph Waltz, is an extraordinary personality and a unique actor. Waltz's fame came in true Hollywood fashion, that is, instantly: after portraying the Jewish hunter in "Inglourious Basterds," he woke up a worldwide celebrity.
ChildhoodChristoph was born in Vienna on October 4, 1956. His parents worked as artists at the Vienna Court Burgtheater where they met, and his grandparents and even great-grandparents served as actors in the same theater. When Christoph's father, Johannes Waltz, passed away, his mother Elisabeth remarried the director of the Burgtheater, who became a father figure to the boy.
Christoph never questioned his career choice: his world revolved around the theater, and he always knew he would become an actor. In the early 70s, Christoph enrolled in the Max Reinhardt Seminar, but the school expelled him for bad behavior. He enjoyed studying, and famous Austrian actors delivered the lectures, but he didn’t consider any of them a role model. After becoming an actor, Christoph often admitted feeling ashamed of his past mockery. Having joined the Burgtheater, he managed to graduate from the acting school.
European Beginnings of a CareerChristoph's theater career was shaping up nicely, yet the young actor was drawn to other horizons. After studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, he returned to Austria, where he began his film career. His first role was as Markus in the 1981 social drama "Headstand." Although the actor was already 25 years old, his character was a teenager. The slim, not-so-tall young man had a romantic appearance, which didn't quite match his extraordinary intelligence and strong character.
For the next 15 years, Christoph lived in London and gained recognition in European cinema, starring in many films and TV series, most of which were popular in his home country but did not achieve worldwide success.
In 1990, he played a police detective in the crime drama "Quicker Than the Eye," trying to catch a cunning thief played by the legendary Ben Gazzara. In 1995, Waltz appeared in the biblical drama "Jacob," which starred Matthew Modine, Giancarlo Giannini, and Sean Bean, and in 1996 he played a maniac obsessed with dolls in the third season of the famous series "Rex: A Cop's Best Friend." In another popular German series "Derrick," he appeared in two episodes.
Waltz's most notable roles during his "London" period include playing Louis in the German thriller "Falling Rocks" and Peter in the comedy crime film "Ordinary Decent Criminal," which also starred Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Linda Fiorentino.
From 2001 to 2007, the actor participated in films such as "Berlin Blues," "Stolberg," "Das jüngste Gericht," and others, but did not gain significant fame, which, however, did not greatly disappoint him.
Inglourious BasterdsInitially, producers considered Leonardo DiCaprio for the role of the psychopathic Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds". However, Quentin Tarantino, who was also the screenwriter for the movie, insisted that the actor playing the perceptive Colonel Landa must be able to speak and recite poetry fluently in several languages: English, German, and French. When Tarantino sent the script for "Inglourious Basterds" to Waltz, he thought he was being offered another minor role and wasn't even nervous about the audition. It was only upon seeing Christoph that the director immediately realized that no one else could play the part. Waltz's character inspired terror and admiration at the same time. His crooked smile and mannered gestures set the standard for the image of a screen villain. According to unanimous opinions from cinema experts, the Austrian actor outshone Brad Pitt, as well as August Diehl and Michael Fassbender, and the scenes featuring him, especially the bar episode, became a true highlight of Tarantino's sixth film.
The film earned numerous awards and nominations, but the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor went to Waltz, whom critics called "Tarantino's secret weapon" and "the gem of the movie". Among many other accolades, Christoph also received the Golden Globe and the British BAFTA.
Hollywood PeriodAfter the extraordinary success of "Inglourious Basterds," offers rained down on the no longer young Christoph Waltz like a meteor shower. In the action comedy "The Green Hornet," the actor played the crime lord Benjamin Chudnofsky, alongside Seth Rogen, Edward Furlong, and David Harbour. The film received mixed reviews from critics who, nevertheless, unanimously praised the charm and skill of Christoph Waltz as a unique phenomenon in cinema.
Waltz's polished villainous persona was once again showcased in the drama "Water for Elephants." In the 2011 film, based on the novel by Sara Gruen, he portrayed a circus owner named August, with Reese Witherspoon playing his wife and Robert Pattinson her lover.
The 2011 dramatic comedy "Carnage," which also starred Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, and Kate Winslet, was not successful in America due to unresolved conflicts with Hollywood executives and director Roman Polanski. However, the film was highly praised in Europe and received several prestigious nominations.
In 2012, Waltz worked with Quentin Tarantino again in "Django Unchained," for which he won his second Oscar. The western also starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, and Samuel L. Jackson. Tarantino wrote the quirky bounty hunter character Schultz specifically for Waltz, who unexpectedly presented a positive hero to his fans.
In 2013, Waltz landed the lead role in Terry Gilliam's cyberpunk phantasmagoria "The Zero Theorem." Initially, the part of the eccentric computing genius Cohen was intended for Billy Bob Thornton, but Gilliam changed his mind at the last moment and had no regrets. Waltz, who had to lose some weight and shave his head for the role, shone alongside Matt Damon and David Thewlis.
Tim Burton, taking a break from his favorite themes of the dead and otherworldly adventures, also noticed Waltz and offered him the lead role in the 2014 drama "Big Eyes." The role of Margaret Keane's husband (Amy Adams), who became famous in the 1950s for her style of painting children with big eyes, was another victory for the actor.
Waltz's portrayal of a notorious scoundrel surprised no one, but once again proved his skill. Even Margaret Keane herself noted that Waltz captured the most vicious essence of her late husband's personality, who was unbound by moral obligations and ready to betray a loved one for profit.
Then, the actor starred in the adventure film "The Legend of Tarzan," which also featured Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, and Margot Robbie.
In the 24th Bond film "Spectre," Waltz played the criminal mastermind Oberhauser, with Daniel Craig as the legendary agent. The film also starred French actress Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, and Monica Bellucci.
The 2017 melodrama "Tulip Fever," based on the novel by Deborah Moggach, did not win any awards or receive positive reviews, but was overall warmly received by audiences. Waltz played the ambiguous role of the wealthy Dutchman Cornelis, whose wife becomes enamored with a poor artist.
In early 2018, the premiere of the satirical science fiction comedy "Downsizing" took place. Director Alexander Payne's vision of the future earned rave reviews from film critics. Waltz starred alongside Matt Damon and Hong Chau.
In February 2019, the premiere of the action film "Alita: Battle Angel" took place. In the film, Waltz played one of the key characters from Yukito Kishiro's manga, which inspired the screenplay.
In 2021, the long-awaited 25th Bond film "No Time to Die" was released. In the last movie with Daniel Craig as James Bond, Waltz reprised his role as the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld (although in 2015, when filming began, the actor insisted that his character's name was Franz Oberhauser).
He also appeared in Wes Anderson's new film "The French Dispatch," the comedic movie "The Portable Door," and the western "Dead for a Dollar."
Christoph Waltz's Personal LifeIt is known that the actor has been married twice. His three adult children from his first marriage with Jackie Waltz adopted their mother's religion, Judaism, and live in Israel.
Christoph's second wife is the costume and makeup artist Judith Holste. They had a daughter in 2005.
Waltz prefers not to discuss his personal life; he doesn't maintain social media accounts and despises mobile phones.
Waltz's closest friend is Quentin Tarantino, whose talent and encyclopedic knowledge he never ceases to admire.
Christoph Waltz NowIn 2023, the first season of the comedic thriller about corporate culture "The Consultant" was released with Christoph Waltz in the lead role. Critics compared his character Regus Patoff, a consultant for an IT giant whose leader died under mysterious circumstances, to Mikhail Bulgakov's Woland, and to the Devil from Stephen King's "Needful Things."
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