Christoph Waltz: An Oscar-Nominated Glorious 'Basterd'

Tarantino, according to Waltz, did not want him to rehearse with the star-studded cast that included Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger as German actress/secret agent Bridget von Hammersmark, "Hostel" director Eli Roth as Donnie Donowitz aka the "Bear Jew", and Mike Myers in a cameo as a British general.

"He told me he did not want to conspire with or manipulate actors, but in this case he said it might be advantageous if you didn't get well acquainted with them," he recalled. Instead Waltz rehearsed on his own with Tarantino, who then "threw it together on the set."

Tarantino emphasized that Waltz was "not a Nazi. His son is a rabbi, but like Landa, he's very erudite and he's very witty."

The actor, prior to the Landa role, had not played a Nazi before. "In real life, I'm extremely particular about the subject. When it comes to movies and narratives, my particularity shifts to the role. I care about whether it's a good role. Should it happen to be a Nazi, so be it. Yet I never found a part worthwhile playing," he said.

The multilingual actor had learnt his craft and languages in his hometown Vienna, where he grew up in a theatrical family. Fluent in English, French and German, he is very proud of how well he barely speaks another language. "I fake Italian in movies and in real life as well – surprisingly successfully … I gave an interview to Italian TV in Italian even though I don't speak Italian – I faked it! I'd had Latin in school. I speak French. You pluck all the Latin roots from here and there like a truffle pig and make it sound like opera," he said. "Quentin says Landa is a linguistic genius. Speaking languages is not genius unless you speak thirty two. Faking a language successfully is genius," he added mischievously.

Waltz's next role is in "The Green Hornet" with Seth Rogen. "I really really like this man. He's smart, funny, not over bearing, a great person," he said about his co-star. In the "Hornet," he plays a villain, a term he would not use in describing Landa. The director Michel Gondry gave him useful advice on how to play his character since Waltz was not familiar with comic book culture. "We want a villain in his mid-life crisis. That immediately laid out a wide scope of possibilities. That was really fun to play," he said. The movie is scheduled to be released December 2010.

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