American acting legend Christopher Walken is a force to be reckoned with, known for his versatile filmography which includes cult classics like Pulp Fiction as well as recent comedic gems like Seven Psychopaths. Having appeared in commercially successful projects as well as critically acclaimed works, Walken has won the hearts of audiences of varying sensibilities.
In an interview with the Guardian, Walken revealed that his life could have been very different if he had landed a particular role. According to the actor, he had auditioned for the iconic role of Han Solo during the casting process of Star Wars but ended up losing out to another acting legend. “I’m very glad Harrison Ford got it,” he said. “I would have been terrible.”
“Very few actors,” Walken added, while talking about the mysteries of the acting process, “Choose their roles. We take them as they come. Early on, I got a thing going playing people who were, let’s say, off-centre – gangsters, suicides and all sorts of things… The best lesson I learned in acting was to do as little as possible.”
Walken has been deviating from film roles and has been actively scouting out more parts in shows. Among his new projects, the most promising one seems to be a new show by Stephen Merchant called The Offenders. Set in Bristol, the show follows the lives of seven strangers who come together during a community service sentence.
“[Series are] where the action is. It didn’t used to be. I always wanted to be in movies and when they asked I came running. I was part of that generation that came when the Hollywood studio system fell apart and suddenly, instead of shooting on sound stages in Hollywood, we were shooting in the jungle or somewhere crazy in Europe. It was an adventure.”
“Stephen is very impressive and intelligent – a brilliant man,” Walken said. “He’s got a big brain and he writes very good dialogue. On some projects you’re encouraged to improvise, but I’ve done some Quentin Tarantino scripts and every word I ever said in those movies was what was in his script, and that works best for me. And that’s the same with Stephen’s scripts.”
Walken will star as Frank, a despicable man who attempts to reach out to his family, while Merchant himself will play the role of a lonely lawyer whose life is tragicomic. The show’s cast will also feature the likes of Rhianne Barreto, Gamba Cole and Darren Boyd and more.