Christoph Waltz is the best thing about 'Inglourious Basterds'
HIS BIG MOMENT
The Austrian-born Waltz, 52, won the best-actor prize at Cannes for playing the hilarious and terrifying SS colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. ”It’s one of the greatest parts I’ve ever read,” he says. ”It’s so light-footed that I wasn’t concerned with the evil part at all.”
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
Trilingual in real life, Waltz speaks English, German, French, and Italian in the film. ”I come from a small European country,” he explains. ”If I travel 500 miles, I need four languages.”
Though Waltz lives with his wife in London, he’s best known for his work in German TV projects over the last three decades. Basterds is his first English-language role in eight years. ”Fifteen, 20 years ago, I worked in Britain, but that kind of evaporated,” he says. ”To tell you the truth, I couldn’t afford living in London if I worked there.”
His next appearance will likely be on the awards-show circuit — Waltz is a strong Best Supporting Actor contender. Any acceptance speeches will focus on his director, Quentin Tarantino. Says Waltz: ”Quentin gave me back the belief in myself as an actor.”