Christoph Waltz in German GQ

Marlena giving you trouble, August?

Christoph Waltz is featured in GQ Germany magazine in an article titled “Old School.” He talks about his family, about being a gifted child, working with Roman Polanski, the willing suspension of disbelief and why he can’t wear a fur coat in LA. We’ll include one Q&A from the article below:

GQ:
In your new film “Water for Elephants” They play the ringmaster. Is it the ultimate metaphor for your job: the circus?

Christoph Waltz:
Ultimately, if I may, is a word over control. It lusted after sensation. In the face of superlatives us the subtleties are lost. After ultimately there will be nothing, so it called that. In terms of my profession I say: There is an overlap to the circus, but I’m doing something else. I also think, incidentally, the word actor misleading – and for the actor. For his career has to do with looking at nothing, play with does.

GQ:
They prefer the term actor.

Christoph Waltz
Exactly. Look you’re doing – not me. And sometimes feel like my actions to actually circus, but mostly not. I have never worked in the circus, so I lack the comparison. In France there was a time when it was regarded as almost the ultimate goal to be part of a circus. Sure, you can make, if not a spectacle bored. I was always terribly bored.

Read the rest on GQ’s site here.

Note that the article is written in German and you’ll need to use a tool such as Google Translate or view with the Google Chrome browser that automatically translates.

  • C22

    Hey.
    I just wanted to add that the german word for actor is called “Schauspieler” – it’s a combination of the words to look and to play, you could translate it with something like “lookplayer”.
    I thought this might help to clear the meaning of his first answer.
    The next question he is asked if he prefers the term “Akteur”/actor to “Schauspieler”…

    I also have a question. Later on in the interview he is asked.
    “What is the work with Roman Polanski like”
    He answers: ” Great. He is a real director, not a music video fumbler.”
    Do you think that he criticezes Frances Lawrence here?

    Ps. I’m a longtime lurker. So I just wanted to add a big thank you for this great blog!

    • I don’t think it’s a dig on Francis Lawrence as much as it is that Polanski came into directing via film school and directly to motion picture, and Lawrence came through making videos and for the smaller screen. It’s two different routes to the same ends, but as most paths go, probably two different approaches to the craft. Christoph is a very “old school” actor (indeed the article is titled “Old School”) and is noted on appreciating Tarantino’s old-school methods of audition and production. He probably feels more personally comfortable in a production that conforms to his original training back in the 70s than the very highly digitally produced film world of today. (He is noted to dislike Green Screen work, for example, as he feels he has nothing tangible to interact with.)

      However, I am positive the word fumbler was not meant in a derogatory sense, as much as it is the meaning he intended did not translate well into English. He was probably using a more casual term for director to imply that Lawrence is more of a modern director where Polanski is more conformative to the old school.

  • jule

    i hate google translate. this is translated really wrong.
    the german word for actor is “schauspieler” which would mean something like show-player(actor) in english. the second question would be that christoph himself prefers to call actors (schauspieler) actors (akteure), which is the same word in english but something entirely different in german.

  • Shirlee

    Much as a love Rob and Reese, it was nice to see something about Christoph as he has gotten very little promotion on this film. More Christoph! (and Rob)

  • Deborah Lazaroff

    It’s a very bad translation, yes. Folks, feel free to contact me if you want me to give you a proper edit of any German- or Russian-language articles. I know a little of both languages and am quite an experienced editor. So contact me once you get something and I’ll be happy to provide you with a decent translation!