If you were watching a movie with your eyes closed and Christopher Walken started talking, chances are you would know who it is right away. With his unique voice and a knack for playing some of the stranger characters in film, Christopher Walken is a true Hollywood legend. His first ever acting job was in the pilot for a drama TV series, The Wonderful John Acton, back in 1953. Since then, he has gone on to appear in over 130 movies and TV shows. If you’re as much of a fan of Christopher Walken as we are, you will love some of these surprising facts about the legend.
That’s not his real name
Sorry to break it to you, but Christopher Walken is not really called Christopher Walken. His real name is Ronald (Ronnie) Walken, and he was actually named after the British silent-film actor, Ronald Colman. It’s clear his parents were keen for him to follow in the footsteps of his namesake, but Ronnie wasn’t too keen on his name. Back in 1964, Walken was a dancer in a nightclub act for Monique van Vooren. She believed that Christopher would suit him better, and also had a habit of introducing people by the pet names she had given them. The name stuck and Ronald Walken became Christopher Walken!
His voice isn’t put on
Some people have questioned where on earth Christopher Walken picked up his rather unusual accent – the one thing that truly sets him apart from other actors. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Walken said that he thought it probably came from having immigrant parents and growing up in Queens. His mother was Scottish, and his father was German, which is a heady mix for an accent anyway. Mix that with the Queens drawl, and you have the world famous Christopher Walken accent.
He nearly had a very different job
While he may have started acting very young, Christopher Walken nearly went down a different career path when he was a teenager. When he was 16 years old, and still deciding what to do with his life, Walken worked as a lion tamer at the local circus. Yep, a lion tamer! Technically, he was learning the ropes and so considered an apprentice, but it’s still an impressive job to have on your resume. Christopher Walken acted as the son of the lion tamer and would be surrounded by big cats. However, he once told IndieWire that the lioness he pretended to tame was “really more like a dog. She was very sweet.”
Walken for President
Back in 2005, what looked like a presidential campaign website for Christopher Walken was discovered on the internet. Did Walken have plans to run for president?! Apparently not, however, he did joke that he was keen during an interview with Conan O’Brien saying, “Sure, if they want me to be president, I’ll do it.” Is he going to put himself forward for the next election? Doubtful.
From lion tamer to potential presidential candidate, it seems as though Christopher Walken (or should we say Ronald Walken) has had a rather interesting life. At least we now know why he has one of the most recognizable voices on TV!