Academy Award winning actor Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) sat down to discuss his character of Dr. Ido in Alita: Battle Angel, the surrogate father of Alita and how he brought this character to life and his experiences with working in a visually heavy world.
Screen Rant: First and foremost amazing job, brilliant performances all around and it's such a visually stunning movie, but what grounds it is the humanity, and I love Dr. Ito. What attracted you to that role and what did you want to explore with that character on the screen?
Christoph Waltz: I wanted to help explore the story because the story has these aspects that I find actually relevant as opposed to a regular superhero movie that was just a superhero. I just thought of that in mythology the gods only become interesting when they assume some form of human existence or behavior at least. Then all of a sudden when they are in context of humanity in direct contact with humanity, then they become interesting and relevant to us. So that's how a Alita differentiates itself from, from superhero movies. Superheroes are gods or demigods. Alita is not human as such as you and I with our restrictions, physical restrictions because she's a cyborg, but she's human as a spirit.
Screen Rant: It's interesting because I related to Alita on a lot of levels too. Now I'm not a badass fighter or anything like that. However, the parental instincts of Dr. Ito, I saw a lot in my own father and I was curious did any of your parenting kind of inform that performance at all?
Christoph Waltz: No, I don't think so. Um, it's, it's, look, we're all kind of a subject to our history and there's nothing we can do about it other than deal with it and get over it and on with it, but that means not but. Furthermore, that means that this is what we also have at our disposal proceed with our lives and that's where acting and regular life merge very congruently because this is what I draw from so possibly yes, without thinking subliminally, unavoidable, but not consciously that I was modeling it after my father.
Screen Rant: The movie is groundbreaking visually and it's just so seamless the way it's done because we've come such a long way in technology. How did Robert help kind of pull that inspiration out of all you guys and how much of that was practical effects or practical level?
Christoph Waltz: This is a practical set (referring to the Alita Experience), this is how it was everything was, everything and more. The craftsmanship is unseen that far. It's sensational. And actually they should make it an attraction in Austin (Texas) sell tickets. But bar it off: Do Not Touch. This is a piece of art. So, so look, the great thing about this shoot was really that it was very clear and Robert couldn't support us more in that what was required was what we do as actors, you know, interact as humans. And the rest is Weta and the specialists and the digital mystery.
- Alita Battle Angel (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019