Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Big Eyes' Star Christoph Waltz Sees the Good and Bad in His Characters

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Big Eyes' Star Christoph Waltz Sees the Good and Bad in His Characters

Article excerpt

Christoph Waltz doesn't judge his characters


TORONTO - Whether he's playing a Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds," a bounty hunter in "Django Unchained" or an art fraud in "Big Eyes," Christoph Waltz says he doesn't judge his characters or try to discover a "hidden truth" about them.

"I understand that we all have everything," said the two-time Oscar winner. "In that respect we're all alike. We all have everything, we just -- through conditioning and socialization and various other predispositions, education and cultural differences -- then start to distribute these qualities in different proportions."

"There's no formula" to his acting approach, added Waltz, "but that's how I see the world, more or less."

"Big Eyes," which hits theatres on Thursday, tells the true story of the phenomenon and subsequent scandal surrounding Keane paintings in the late 1950s and early '60s. Charming and manipulative Walter Keane (Waltz) convinced wife Margaret (Amy Adams) to let him take the credit for her popular paintings of waifs with big eyes, leaving her to hole herself up in a studio in seclusion to create all the works while he enjoyed international fame from their booming business.

"I don't think Walter is in any way evil-spirited. Not one bit," said Waltz, an Austrian who won Oscars for his supporting roles in "Inglourious Basterds" and "Django Unchained."

"I think he's, if at all, someone who lost control over what he created. And there are very specific reasons for that, I'm sure, and one of them is, as always, education. I just think he didn't have the means and the know-how to run a big business as he did. But I would never refer to anybody as mean-spirited.

"There is always more ... behind just the moralistic verdict."

The "Big Eyes" script is from Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who wrote the biopics "Man on the Moon" and "The People vs. …

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