If you know anything about how publicity goes for major Hollywood films, it’s easy to see how actors might get tired of doing press events when they’re promoting a new movie. We’re talking weeks and weeks of travel with 10 and 12-hour days of putting on a smile for an endless parade of interviewers, all of whom are asking the same questions you’ve already heard a hundred times before.
Even if it is part of your job, and you’re making Hollywood-style big bucks, it’s understandable that even the most patient A-lister might get a little testy from time to time.
As reported by The Independent, when Christoph Waltz sat down with an interviewer to talk about his role in the new Robert Rodriguez film, Alita: Battle Angel, what started out tense wound up excruciating.
The two-time Oscar winner was being interviewed by Stefan Pape of HeyUGuys and came across as though his patience had not only worn thin, but was entirely dissolved well before the interview even began.
When Pape asked Waltz for a little about his character’s backstory, the actor shut him down immediately.
“No chance. Go see the movie,” Waltz snapped, adding: “I can explain why I refuse: because that’s your job, not mine. My job is to play the character for you to see and…because you’re a journalist, to write about. If I do your job, would you do mine? I don’t think an actor should talk about his character, because it’s shooting himself in the knee.”
My favourite moment in my car crash interview with absolutely wonderful and so lovely and in no way condescending or rude Christoph Waltz last week, was when he said 'I don't think an actor should talk about his character'. Boy, that made the interview FUN.— Stefan Pape (@stefanpape29) February 4, 2019
It only got worse from there. Waltz seemed as though he was determined to contradict and shoot down everything Pape tried to talk about with him, including softball questions like how easy it must have made it to take the role, given that a director of Rodriguez’s caliber is working with a James Cameron-penned script.
“No it doesn’t. It makes it more difficult,” Waltz said.
And when Pape suggested it must have been rewarding to see the final result, with special effects added, Waltz goes full-on patronizing.
“The motion was there,” he sighed. “What we do is what we do no matter what. We still are actors who are humans and do what humans do.”
The icing on this massive cake of awkwardness was when Pape asked Waltz about rumors of upcoming plans for Waltz to direct. He gets answered with a death stare of several seconds that could have come from Waltz’s Inglorious Basterds character Col. Hans Landa – only without the creepy smile.
“Did you notice my stare?” Waltz asks, before finally giving Pape a small laugh and adding, “I can’t talk about it.”