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Christopher Walken from Dubrovnik

Press conference with Christopher Walken on Dubrovnik International Film Festival 2005
Moderatated by Daniel Rosenthal editor of Variety International Film Guide “the best annual guide to world cinema”

*Daniel Rosenthal:
“Good evening everybody last night we had an exquisite honor to award Mr. Christopher Walken with a Statue of Libertas, for an extraordinary contribution to his lifetime work. We talked last night about most recent films “Man of Fire”, “Welcome to the jungle”, “Stepford Wives”, what we can expect in a few coming years of you?”
“-I have couple of movies coming out, one is coming in the summer and its called the “Wedding crashes”, the other is by John Tortturo and its called “Romance and cigarettes” and one is the film by Tony Scot and its called “Dominal”. And those will happen between now and I guess October.”

*Daniel Rosenthal:
“Dominal” is another Toni Scot thriller.”
“-I haven’t see it, don’t know if it’s a thriller, I hope it is. I think it might be a comic thriller. Its unusual, its hibrid musical. “

*Daniel Rosenthal:
“Do we have you dancing?”
“-I sing and dance, I am singing Tom Jones’ song. “

“How do you choose your role? Does it depend from director of the film or you get hooked on an interesting screenplay?”
“-Combination of many things, combination of many things. It is approach, if its seems that it will be a good part. Often, the director of course get another actors on, than location, if director would ask that I would do it Dubrovnik sometimes, I would be glad to do it here. I like it here. Or one of the places where you don’t wanna go, like a jungle. It really depends how much money they get. I’ve seen few of the films from the festival and I liked “Ladies in Lavender” by Charles Dance and I like it.”

“What kind of movies do you prefer?”
“-I like movies wherever they’re coming from. But when I was a kid, in USA, growing up in New York, European films were very popular. There were small theatres just for Italian films, French films, and British films. It seemed there were many of them when I was young, than there are now. I don’t know why that is, but I grew up watching Mastroyani and Belmondo, and Sofia Loren. It seems that way, I don’t know why. But there were great movies.”

What about British films?”
“-I love British movies, they’re great. I saw one the other night. Have you seen “Ladies in Lavender”, it’s very good. And seems to me that in England; movie business is struggling a bit. It’s to bad.”

*Other journalists:
“How did you feel making The Deer Hunter?”
“-When I was making it I felt that I was in a good movie.”

How do you making up your mind? Do you know when it’s a good movie?
“-If I have a good feeling about and it’s a good script. Sometimes when you only get to talk to people you get the feeling that it will be good. “

*Other journalists:
“You use to do few movies at the same time and that could be tiring, how much you enjoy in the process?”
“-When I was younger I would spend lots of time making movies. “The Deer Hunter” was 5 months, “Heaven’s gate” was 8 months, but I find… when you’re older, now I find a day of work in a compress time. I don’t spend too much time waiting. So I go in the studio and finish it in a 2 or 3 weeks. It’s a nice in one way and on the other day, it’s difficult, because there is something about being around movie every day. Which helps, sometimes I just get on the plane and I just do my part and it feels almost like I haven’t been there but. “

*Daniel Rosenthal:
“You got other projects lined up?”
“-I don’t have anything right now, but who knows.”

*Other journalists:
“Do you write films as well?”
“-All actors spending time by themselves, they tent to write things. Every actor I know is writing a screenplay or something. Usually not good one. Or they paint, lots of actors paint. Being an actor has something to do with solitary things. I wrote the play ten years ago about Elvis. But it was just silly. I’ve been in the supermarket and I saw tabloid newspaper. It was telling funny stories about Elvis, but of course, that he was not dead. That he was woman and he was living in Morocco. And I thought it was very funny and I wrote play. It was not Shakespeare but of course…”

*Other journalists:
“Was it performed?”
“-Yes I performed it, just at the Public Theatre in New York. But… my actions are better on the weekends…”

*Other journalists:
“Do you like to see films where you are acting?”
“-There is movies that I thought were obscure. Some movies were so obscure that I never see them. But in some of them I thought I was good you know. And those movies never seem to get included in others choice, on montage of the obscure clips. But, on some I though I was very good. “

*Daniel Rosenthal:
“How do you feel about “The Dead Zone”? It’s a wonderful movie.”
“-The Dead Zone is one of them, in the pictures on that close ring. I also did funny movie in Wales about funeral business. I was undertaker, its quite funny but nobody will ever see it. “

*Other journalists:
“And we’ll never see it?”
“-No you’ll never see it, not even in England. “

*Other journalists:
“Do you have other plans from one it is asked from you?”
“-Well, I never make plans I take… you know what is incredible and what is better to be that way. If you are an actor…most actors are not employed. In the theatre, movies, most actors don’t work. So if they/someone employ you, you are lucky. I just try to keep working... be busy!”

*Other journalists:
“I heard your real name is Roland, why did you change your name?”
“-I was a dancer most of my life, I mean, until “The Deer Hunter” almost. And I did shows and I did tours, musicals, I did “West Side Story” and I was in the nightclub act, with, you might now her, Monica Bandurra, she was kind-a cabaret singer, quite famous at the time and very beautiful. I think she was from Belgian. And I danced in the act with 2 other boys, and one night she said to me she would introduce us on the end of the show. And she said, I don’t like your name Roland, I gonna call you Christopher. And I said ok, and that’s how I got my name. And it worked. In another way Christopher becomes Chris. Ronald is difficult to say, it’s more difficult. “

*Other journalists:
“What would you like to do beside acting?”
“-Of course I would like to do other things but I wouldn’t like to be director. To be director is like to be general. You have to know what everybody is doing; you have to know where everybody is. You have to know, what to tell everybody. And I can’t tell, I can’t even tell myself anything. If the actor would ask me what do I think, I wouldn’t know what to say. The matter a fact, sometimes it happens you know, young actors say what I would do on their place and I always say do whatever you want. But to say, “do whatever you want” that’s not good for director. I would be like: If the man would say to me where to put camera I would say: Put it wherever you like.”

*Other journalists:
“What does Woody Allen say?”
“-He tells something I promise.”

*Other journalists:
Do you like Dubrovnik?”
“-You know, really, the reason I’m here, of course I heard of Dubrovnik a long time ago. And few months ago, there was a big…in Sunday Times, in New York, there was a big story with pictures, about Dubrovnik and, it was very good. And I said to my wife, “au I wanna go there!” And she said: “Well some day will go there.” And than Budak called, it is very beautiful here and last night, for the first time I was there, it was dark. It was completely different Dubrovnik. When it’s dark. You know the daytime is one thing and lights on are other. It’s very beautiful. And I said to John Hurt I was walking home with him, you know: Orson Wells will make a fabulous movie here. Last night we were walking and you could almost feel it, like you in one of Orson Wells’ movie. I mean he already made “Othello” here, but you could do very good “Othello” here. Sure.”

*Other journalists:
“We heard you were in circus when you were child?”
“-Yes, when I was a kid I was in the circus. I was with the lion. But only one lion and very old, he had not too many teeth. And very nice, very sweet lion, his name was Sheba. And Sheba was really more like a dog. I had suit and the whip and I would go…wham, wham on the ground and Sheba would do hollowing…”


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