He tells EW Online that singing and dancing is his true calling

By Liane Bonin
Updated August 23, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
Christopher Walken
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Having made a career out of playing creeps and villains, Christopher Walken hardly seems like the best candidate to star in a family film. But according to the actor, who plays a loveless theater critic in John Turturro’s ”Illuminata,” (in limited release now) it’s in that warm-and-fuzzy genre that he’s done some of his best work.

”I made a movie of the children’s story ‘Puss in Boots,”’ Walken tells EW Online (1988’s ”Cannon Movie Tales: Puss in Boots”). ”It’s a musical movie, and it’s one of my best efforts. I sing and dance in it.” The catch is, the film never made it to theaters and is currently unavailable on video. ”I make four, five, six movies a year, maybe one of them gets seen,” Walken says, ”but that’s show business.”

Still, old-fashioned song and dance holds a special place for the man most likely to play Jeffrey Dahmer. ”Musicals are really my cup of tea, and when I go to the theater, if I have a choice, I’ll always go to a musical. Always. If I had been working when they were making those movies in the ’30s and ’40s, I might have found some kind of niche in there.”

Does that mean we can look forward to more singing and dancing from Walken? ”I think I’m kind of past it,” he says. ”It’s like athletics, it’s a young person’s profession.” Still, he admits there’s one Broadway role that seems custom-made for him: ”I did see Jerry Lewis in ‘Damn Yankees,’ and he was truly great as the Devil. You know, I could play that part, too.”


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