Facts About Christopher Walken You Didn’t Know
Ronnie Walken, better known as Christopher Walken, recently turned 76 this past March has been in over 88 films. With his latest movie in post-production, fans of the now legendary actor are eager to see what he’s been up to.
To celebrate his 88th film, here are ten pacts a lot of people probably didn’t know about him:
1. Child Star Siblings
Walken was one of three brothers who grew up in Queens. Though their father was a simple baker, it was their mother’s interest with being on stage that got them on-stage, to begin with.
It might seem like a rare occurrence, but Walken says that was just life back in his childhood home of Queens, New York.
“In The 1950s television was being born, and there was this phenomenon, about 90 live shows from New York, so there were hundreds of kids from Queens, kids from blue-collar families, doing TV shows,” Walken stated in a New York Times interview. “In the Queens where I grew up, you didn’t go bowling on Saturday; you went to dancing school.”
2. Part Time Lion Tamer
At 16, worked of a lion tamer’s apprentice. “The real lion tamer who owned the circus, the gag was that he had a son, which he didn’t,” shared Walken with IndieWire. “But I had an identical outfit, and he would do this big act with a dozen big cats. Then he would send them all out at the end and just leave this one old girl, and I would come in with my whip … She was really more like a dog. She was very sweet.”
3. He Got His Stage Name from The Nightclub Scene
His inner circle knows by Ronnie, but was born as Ronald, so what’s with the name he has today? During his work as a dancer in Monique Van Vooren’s nightclub is when the actor got his current name.
Van Vooren was known for coming up with the name on the fly, and ‘Christopher’ happened fake one that stayed with him.
4. He Starred in One of Madonna’s Music Videos
Walken is no stranger to the music video scene. Well-known for his silver screen performances, he has starred in at least two music videos. Best known for Fatboy Slim’s 2001 hit “Weapon of Choice,” the 76-year-old actor was also in the 1992 video for Madonna’s “Bad Girl” as her creepy guardian angel.
5. He Talks That Way for a Reason
The cadence we all know and love is not something he developed for his guest spots on SNL. According to the actor, it was thanks to his upbringing around his father and other immigrants in Queens whose first language was not English.
6. He’s Got a Theme Park Ride on His Resume
Despite his list of acting gigs, one of his lesser-known parts was playing Frank Kincaid, the host of the Universal Studios ride, Disaster! Technically an update of a Charlton Heston-inspired ride, the theme park closed the ride to attraction to make room for the Fast & Furious experience.
7. Bid for President
There were dozens of major events that occurred back in 2005, but some people were more surprised at the possibility of Walken running for president than anything else. Unknown to him, the website www.walken2008.com was published online, and his publicist confirmed the actor had no ties to the domain.
Walken had the perfect quip when Late Night host Conan O’ Brien about throwing his hat in the ring for the presidential race: “You know, I’ll do it. Sure, if they want me to be president, I’ll do it.”
His campaign slogan? “No more zoos!”
8. He Wrote and Starred in a Play About Elvis Presley, But It Didn’t Do So Well
Like many, the well-seasoned actor is an outspoken fan of the King of Rock. Titled Him, the play was a take on afterlife experience by Presley. It received pretty harsh reviews, though some fans of the actor continue to enjoy it.
The play itself might have gained negative attention for the crazy theory regarding Presley death or lack thereof.
9. Marlon Brando Once Pitched Him a Bizzare Idea for a Variety Show
Though they didn’t know each other well, Walken was one of the few people Brando had in his ‘important’ list. Walken once received a call from Brando about putting together a musical variety show filmed from his home.
Pennies from Heaven, Walken musical, happened to be the catalyst for the phone call.
10. Not a Horse Man
The actor was never very good at riding horses. His eight months spent riding a horse for Heaven’s Gate only helped his decision to not ride any more horses. The stunt team for A View to Kill even replaced Walken’s steed with one stuffed and pulled behind a truck.