No one plays evil quite like Christoph Waltz. From being an absurd Nazi in Inglourious Basterds to an overbearing ringmaster in Water for Elephants to a narcissistic painter who terrorizes Amy Adams in Big Eyes, it was no surprise, but rather a wonderful delight that Spectre director Sam Mendes tapped Waltz to play James Bond’s ultimate rival.
In the film, Waltz plays Oberhauser, a.k.a the head of Spectre. But as the movie unravels, all is revealed that Oberhauser is more than previously thought. As Oberhauser seeks to take over the world by having the most sophisticated surveillance network on the planet, Bond learns that he has a special connection with the leader of Spectre. Cue petting that white, blue-eyed Chinchilla Persian cat, because we caught up with the legendary actor, Waltz, to get his take on Spectre and James Bond.
Tell me about your character’s relationship to James Bond because you guys aren’t strangers. I think your character even says that in the film.
Yes, well I can tell you about my personal relationship with James Bond. I refrain from telling you my character’s relationship with James Bond because that is a story and it is such an important part of the story that would be spoiling it to describe it, but I remember James Bond from the beginning. Not so much from James Bond’s beginnings, but my beginning. It just happens to have coincided somewhat, but I was too young to see James Bond when it came out in the movies because in ‘62 I was still playing with cars. But the car that I was playing with was the Aston Martin with the little James Bond sitting in there that you could eject and shoot rockets out of it. Yeah they had [merchandise]. Merchandise existed in the 60’s trust me. It is not a new idea and so I find that interesting, but it must be the same thing for children now these days. They know the mythology so to say. They know the hero….They play it. They grow into it without ever seeing a movie. That’s phenomenal and that is what I would call popular culture.
That is one of my favorite memories the James Bond car and the car in this film is awesome too. Not giving away the plot, but I know a big theme of the film is kind of this connection between terrorism and surveillance. I wanted to get your thoughts on that because it seems to be such a strong theme in the film.
My thoughts on surveillance is that sometimes I question whether surveillance and trying to make people transparent and controllable and turning them into data so that algorithms can take [something useful] of them or rather can take care of them rather than people. I wonder, I am not saying it is like that…but I wonder whether it doesn’t create some of the problem. And I wonder whether the cure is actually more of the disease… It certainly removes the power from within democracies away from the people and dissolves it into what is euphemistically referred to as the cloud.
Being the head of Spectre, not giving away the plot here, but the leader of Spectre shows up the most in all the James Bond films. I feel like the ending [to this film] left a lot of things to be imagined. Will you come back? Do you want to come back?
That is not the question. This isn’t even finished yet. You know, let’s finish this one first. It is really not a topic at this moment at all. You’re not the first one to ask of course, but I say there are more pressing personnel questions to be solved before anything is even thought about in my direction.
Do you love playing him [the leader of Spectre] that much that you would want to come back?
Well, it depends, I love playing the one I played. That doesn’t mean one bit that I would love playing something in the future. Let’s see what it is first.
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.
Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.
As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.
Sam Mendes returns to direct SPECTRE, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as 007 for the fourth time. SPECTRE is produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The screenplay is by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth, with a story by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.
Spectre opens in North American theaters November 6, 2015.