He’s a favourite of impersonators, and videos featuring him reading scripts and books have millions of hits on YouTube; his portrayals of villains are viciously sly, but he has the ability to achieve warm sincerity in his roles as protagonists and victims. What makes Christopher Walken a favourite amongst just about anyone? His distinguished and instantly recognisable voice, accent and speech pattern have a lot to do with it, but it is also how he uses them, and he has proved himself to be an extremely gifted actor. Roobla takes a look at some of Christopher Walken’s best speeches, and the great ability of it.
“Two Little Mice” – Catch Me If You Can (2002)
“Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he turned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.”
It’s not just the uplifting and motivational speech that makes Walken’s role as Frank Abagnale Sr. so admirable and respectable; his performance throughout the whole film is endearing and heartfelt but ultimately quite tragic. Walken does a great job at playing the strong and stubborn but victimised father of famous fraudster Frank Abagnale, forcing viewers to forget about his abundance of villainous roles… and his speech pattern proves to increase the effectiveness of this.
“This Watch” – Pulp Fiction (1994)
“This watch I got here was first purchased by your great-grandfather during the first World War. It was bought in a little general store in Knoxville, Tennessee. Made by the first company to ever make wrist watches… “
Walken’s storytelling is so captivating that he is able to be shot using very realistic techniques; the audience is so involved in his movements and speech that we hardly notice that there are only about five camera angles in an entire four minute sequence. While also owing to Tarantino’s extraordinary writing, Walken’s cameo as Captain Koons is impressive, and his relatively small appearance makes a huge impact on spectators. Is it the eyes, the voice, his slick appearance?
“I’ll make gravy out of your little girl” – Nick of Time (1995)
“There was this guy, big guy, lrish-ltalian, red face, black hair, jolly son of a bitch. Nobody could make me laugh like him. Made a science out of collecting jokes. Closed more bars together than I could count. He was a pal.I loved the crazy Mick. I’m not ashamed to say that, but he was a fuck-up.”
Armed with a dodgy moustache and a cracker, Walken proceeds to show a young Johnny Depp just how fearless, careless and evil he is. While his speech pattern can work to his advantage to portray him positively in other films, Nick of Time is an example where Walken is able to use it to depict a terrifyingly bad man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The New York accent adds a level of ‘badass’ to his speech as well… we certainly wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of the evil Christopher Walken!
Roobla has taken a look at how Walken’s accent and speech pattern has helped to depict an admirable and respectable father, its ability to captivate audiences and how it can come off at utterly frightening, but what is your favourite thing about Walken’s acting style?