Christoph Waltz was confirmed for SPECTRE by Sam Mendes at the early December press event, a signing already reported in the weeks before filming thanks to a tipoff to the media. Here we take a look at the Austrian actor’s career to date.
Christoph Waltz was born on 4th October 1956 in Vienna into a family with a long association with the theatre. His Austrian mother was a costume designer, while his German father worked as a stage builder but before them his maternal grandmother and step-grandfather both performed at Austria’s National Theatre; and his maternal grandfather was a psychologist and psychiatrist specializing in human sexuality who emigrated to California to flee the political situation in Austria in 1936.
Waltz studied drama at the Max Reinhardt Seminar at Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts before before joining the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. Here he met his wife, Judith Holster, with whom he has a daughter and who, like his mother, is a costume designer.
Waltz became a prolific TV actor after settling in London during the 1980s, featuring in dozens of series and TV films, although his attempts at breaking into English language cinema proved largely fruitless.
He has Quentin Tarantino to thank for his Hollywood career, which finally took off after landing the role of Colonel Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds (2009) and then Django Unchained (2012); for both films he won the Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
When his involvement in SPECTRE was first leaked it was said the role of Franz Oberhauser is ambiguous, unclear whether he is on the side of good or evil, causing fans and media alike to speculate about his role.
At the Pinewood press event he denied he would play 007’s arch-nemesis, SPECTRE leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld. We’ll learn the truth when SPECTRE finally hits our screens in November.