Everyone knows actors can be a little peculiar, but few are quite as bizarre and fascinating
as the legendary Christopher Walken.
Here are a few things you may not know about this beloved film icon.
In 2010, Walken told The Independent about a phone call he once received from Marlon
Apparently, Brando had seen him dance in Pennies from Heaven and wanted to get in touch with
his choreographer, in the hopes of setting up a musical variety show set in his own home.
Brando himself would play the piano, and everyone including Brando would dance.
This all came on the heels of his claim that he had lost around 100 pounds on a crackers-and-milk
Sadly, The Marlon Brando Variety Show never quite came to pass.
“But that’s something we all missed, I think… that show.”
Walken’s real-life public persona is somewhat inseparable from those of the dark, bizarre
characters he plays and his ability to pull off scary and threatening comes from a very
"I'll make gravy out of your little girl."
In an interview with Total Film, Walken said of his youth in New York:
“[It was] like living in a horror museum because there are so many strange people walking
the streets and riding the subways."
The tough attitude he developed was a survival skill meant to make sure no one would mess
with him on the streets.
He also admitted, however, that he could never really make it as a villain, since he considers
himself a serious pacifist.
Walken has more than 130 acting credits to his name, and it's no secret that most of
those characters tend to be oddballs, villains or both.
But there are some villains even Walken won’t play.
He told The Independent that he has turned down roles playing characters with no morals
"I have always refused to do something that has offended me.
I have been offered potential roles that are totally vulgar.”
Walken also told Vanity Fair in 2012 that he'd be open to playing other kinds of roles,
In particular, there's one character type he wants a shot at playing.
He told the magazine:
"I haven't played a regular guy.
You know, a dad with kids.
But I'm not sure I'll ever get that part."
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love animals, and those who just
kind of acknowledge they exist.
Walken falls into that first category, and once told Parade that one of his favorite
things to do is just watch the wildlife outside the window of his Connecticut country home.
Walken is also an outspoken proponent for animal rights.
Join me and create the peaceful coexistence with our wild neighbors.”
He’s no fan of captive animals despite having once worked as a lion tamer when he was 16
and wishes the world would do away with zoos and circuses.
He's also done some work with the Best Friends Animal Society celebrity campaign, and is
a huge believer in animal adoption.
Walken thinks of his own cats as his children, telling Parade:
"Frankly, if there's such a thing as reincarnation, it would be wonderful to come back as my cat.
[…] I'm not sure you could do better than that."
Cooking is something that Walken almost takes as seriously as acting.
According to The Observer, he comes from a family of bakers, and, thanks to his immigrant
parents, grew up on a combination of German and Scottish foods such as head cheese and
Walken himself is a little more mainstream in his tastes and loves cooking everything
from Mexican to Thai.
He said he prefers cooking at home to eating out, and almost always skips dessert.
His dislike of sweet things is a holdover from a youth spent surrounded by cakes, pastries,
and vats of chocolate.
Walken even almost had his own cooking show, but nobody could agree on the format.
Walken said the networks wanted something carefully scripted, and when that didn't sync
with what he had in mind, he gave it a pass.
He has, however, considered going another route.
He told The Observer:
"I thought I'd get a couple of those cameras and put them in my kitchen in Connecticut
and just, you know, turn it on whenever I felt like it.
[…] I thought I would have a hotline you know, a red telephone.
And [viewers] could call and I could give them advice about their love life.”
In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Walken revealed that, despite his often-violent
on-screen nature, he's never fired a real gun.
"There are too many guns in the real world.
I know people with guns, and they always say the same thing.
'If somebody breaks into my house, I have to be able to defend myself.'
But what they're really saying is, 'I hope somebody breaks into my house so I can use
Walken also spoke out against sport hunting.
He called the Hunters Channel the most obscene thing he'd ever seen, both because of the
nature of hunting itself and the hunters' gleeful reactions at killing beautiful, living
Finally, he warned:
“Guns are out of control.”