Though Seven Psychopaths didn’t do the business at the box office this weekend that CBS Films was hoping for, the film got rave reviews — with much of the praise centered on Christopher Walken‘s character, Hans. Walken has been an immensely popular actor for years, and he spoke to The Daily Beast about his surprising early years and why he thinks he’s remained so popular all these years.
What most people are surprised by is that Walken — who usually breaks out in a little dance step at some point in his movies — cut his teeth in musicals. He explains, “I was in musicals for a long time—Broadway musicals, and tours. I did a lot of West Side Story and various musicals in New York during the ‘60s and ‘70s. I was in musicals and then at some point I got a job to be in a play, and then I got a part in a movie. It all happened a bit accidentally.”
Yet despite his success in acting and his popularity with the general public, Walken admits that like other actors he is always concerned what his next job will be he. He says, “Actors are always worried about their next job and it’s never been any different for me. When I’m busy and when I wasn’t busy, I’ve never really known much about what I’m going to do next. You know, I don’t have kids and I don’t have hobbies. I don’t like to travel. So, going to work is really about it.”
Of course, one of the most endearing features of Christopher Walken is his voice, including his unique cadence and New York accent. Walken reveals that he believes that his voice comes from the immigrant-rich area he grew up in, pointing out, “I think it comes from the part of New York I come from. I’m from an area of New York full of people from other places, particularly Europe. My parents both came to America as adults from Europe and all my friends had parents where English was their second language. There are places I grew up where people still spoke Italian and German and kind of brought Europe to America with them. The people I grew up with, a lot of them had very heavy accents, and I think it rubbed off a little in terms of rhythm.”