Chris Demarco, Staff Writer

Before his turn as Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Christoph Waltz was an Austrian actor who had never done an American film.

Having never been featured in a film outside of Europe, the worldwide audience that lined up to see Inglorious Basterds was surprised, albeit pleasantly, at the performace of the previously unknown Waltz. Those who didn’t know who Waltz was sure know now, with the steady amount of critical praise he’s received since the film’s release.

Waltz was a fairly successful actor in Austria prior to working on Basterds. He began his acting career as a stage actor at venues all over Austria and Germany. Shortly thereafter he jumped into television, where he found more success.

He also became a writer and director, working on the film Wenn man sich traut. He has starred in over 90 projects, mostly in television.

Waltz is considered a method actor, meaning he essentially becomes the character he is portraying. This was the type of actor Tarantino was in search of when trying to cast the role of Hans Landa.
The part was originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio, but Tarantino decided to go after an older, lesser-known actor instead. Tarantino had deemed this role as “unplayable” until he found Waltz. When finally cast, Tarantino apparently remarked that Waltz “gave me my movie back.”

As Hans Landa, Waltz was able to create the movie’s most memorable character. Going in, the audience is made to believe that Brad Pitt’s Aldo Raine is going to be the scene stealer, par for the course in contemporary Hollywood.

Instead, audiences left the film talking about the remarkable job Waltz did.
Tarantino has said that he believed that the character was one of the greatest he’d ever written or ever will write and believed that if the movie didn’t have Waltz, it would not have been as successful.
Waltz’s portrayal of Hans Landa has garnered him a lot of critical acclaim.

It all started when he won the Best Actor Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. After that, he has swept in his category at all the key awards ceremonies, including winning Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

He has been deemed the “front runner” for the Academy Awards this year. In his category of Best Supporting Actor, he is up against four other very deserving actors, including Matt Damon (Invictus), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Woody Harrelson (The Messenger) and Christopher Plummer (The Last

Out of all the major acting categories at the Oscars this year, Waltz seems to be the one “shoo-in” because he, by far, played his character the best. He was the one actor whose character people were talking about weeks after seeing the movie.

I believe Waltz will be coming home with his much-deserved Oscar gold.