Christopher Walken, cinema’s craziest mofo, turns 72 today. To celebrate the man whose imitators include Kevin Spacey, Ryan Reynolds and you after a few drinks, let’s salute the finest, weirdest work from the master of mirthful menace.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
The big-haired one’s monologue about a watch worn up his ass ranks as the high point of a film that comprises pretty much only classic moments. As chrono aficionados, we just have one question: what brand was it?
The Dead Zone (1983)
This Stephen King adaptation has Walken as a mild-mannered teacher put into a coma for five years by a car crash. Upon awakening, he discovers he can see into people’s souls, which is a bummer when he realises Martin Sheen’s populist politician is destined to destroy the world.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Walken won the Academy Award for his insanely intense portrait of a soldier whose mind is destroyed by his experiences in the Vietnam War. The Russian Roulette scene remains unbearably tense and tragic. Do not try this at home.
The King Of New York (1993)
This gangster flick is up there with Goodfellas for all-round 1990s awesomeness. Walken is Frank White, recently freed from prison, and determined to rub out/take over all criminal competition in New York City. Supports include Laurence Fishburne, Wesley Snipes and Steve Buscemi.
At Close Range (1986)
Another crim kingpin role – this time Walken is a mid-western thug who’s not above corrupting his own sons… and bumping them off. It’s his most cold-blooded role – and that’s saying something. Top support, too, from Sean and Chris Penn, both sporting bouffants of Walken-like magnificence.
And here’s 10 celebs doing their best Walken Talkin’.