Everybody knows now who Christoph Waltz. is. Movie-lovers around the world saw him in the disturbingly alluring role of Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds and then as a dentist-turned-bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz in this year’s, Django Unchained. For the records, Christoph Waltz is an Austrian actor who shot to limelight with his performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (note the spelling). Today, he is an established Hollywood star and a global name in the movie business having already won prestigious awards at almost all major film awards for his successive roles in the last two Tarantino films. In the life of an every actor, there comes a moment which he owns and this is the Waltz moment. But many don’t know that before becoming this phenomenon, he was a theatre actor with a different stage name, somewhere in Europe whose talent was still waiting to be brought onto the world pedestal. It took an auteur like Tarantino to do justice to his talent by offering him a character so complex and brilliant that Waltz played it like he actually descended from heavens to act as the Army Officer who is so realistic that he is almost inhuman.
The story behind the discovery of Christoph Waltz is an interesting read. After making Kill Bill Vol. I & II, Tarantino spent a great deal of time to write his World War II script which he would name Inglourious Bastards later. The director himself has admitted that the role of Col. Hans Landa is perhaps the best character he has written so far. So convinced was he with the virtuoso of the character, that he actually feared the fact that the role might be unplayable. Nevertheless, he continued to audition for the man who would do complete justice to the role he had written. He auditioned extensively around the world to cast the right man to play the part. However extensively he auditioned, he continued to face dejection in his quest to find the right man to play the part. It actually reached a point where he started thinking to drop the idea of making the film. And lo and behold! A stroke of luck happened!
One day amidst the auditioning process this quiet and suave-looking man came to read for the part. Tarantino gave him the script and asked him to act, to which he obliged gladly. The moment he started reading, the director knew that he had found his man. After he was done with the reading, Tarantino offered him the role and even thanked him for giving him his movie back! The movie became a big hit and the performance Waltz’s performance was widely appreciated, securing him the best supporting actor at the Oscars and the Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. Rest, as they say, is history and Christoph Waltz is the hero of this chapter having established himself as one of the finest actors of our times.