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He wasn’t very popular to the masses until his breakthrough role in Tarrantino’s Inglorious Basterds. Christoph Waltz has been studying acting since the 1970’s. He started working on the television in the 1980s. In 2009, for his role as Hans Lada, he won a BAFTA and an Academy Award for supporting acting.

To state things right, Waltz was the main reason that Inglorious Basterds was released in the first place. The story behind it, shows how great and charismatic Christoph Waltz really is.

Quentin Tarantino at some point stopped the movie. For two years, the project froze. His team even released the script online. The reason for this setback was because Tarantino couldn’t find the perfect actor for the role of Hans Lada. Being a perfectionist, Tarantino stated that he won’t continue the film until he found the perfect actor. One of the actors that came close to getting the demanding role was Leonardo Di Caprio, but even him didn’t satisfy Tarantino.

Col. Hans Lada is an intelligent Nazi, fluent in several languages, with charismatic speech and diplomacy. Tarantino wouldn’t make compromises for the demanding role. When Christoph Waltz’s name fell on the table, everything changed in a way that even Tarantino himself couldn’t imagine.

“He’s one in a million,” Tarantino praised Waltz. “Landa is one of the best characters I’ve ever written. He comes from a long line of suave, charming Nazis. I tried to have the audience, almost against their will, invest in him being a detective. You want him to figure out what the Basterds are doing just to see what he’ll do.”

While in set, the team had to make remarks to Waltz, so that the rest of the actors won’t feel as subordinates to him.

We can see Waltz’s great skills throughout the film, but the opening scene is where he really shows the world why Tarantino had to wait so long for Col. Lada to come to life.

The slowness and the pacing. The sequence of tiny, irrelevant rituals and the delaying of the inevitable make the whole killing even more shocking and cruel. Although he presented himself as the civilized man with manners, he was nothing more than a murderer. A murderer with a civilized facade.

A similar scene occurred later in the movie, when he was eating a strudel with whipped cream with Shoshanna.

What makes this antagonist so attractive? Of course, is Waltz’s ability to play diabolic and cruel villains with class and manners.

Other similar roles he has brought to life include supervillain Blofeld in Spectre and Walter Keane in Big Eyes. He has worked again with Tarantino in Django Unchained (2012), however, there he was not the villain.

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