Quentin Tarantino uses Christoph Waltz's talent as an actor better than any other filmmaker, but how many times have they worked together? Quentin Tarantino spent a long time developing his World War II saga Inglourious Basterds and at different stages in its development names like Adam Sandler, Simon Pegg, and Sylvester Stallone (Rambo V) were rumored to appear. The filmmaker had a famously difficult time casting Hans Landa, a role Leonardo DiCaprio was originally in talks for.
Tarantino decided he needed a German actor for Inglourious Basterds chief villain, but started to fear he'd written an unplayable character. It got to the stage where he seriously considered publishing the screenplay and moving on since casting the right actor was so crucial to the movie. Thankfully, Christoph Waltz came in to read for Landa and he quickly knew he'd found his star.
Waltz had been working as an actor since the 1970s in numerous German movies and TV shows but was a relative unknown when he was cast as Hans Landa. From the opening scene alone it was clear he was the perfect choice, with Landa conducting a seemingly friendly interrogation of a farmer about his missing Jewish neighbors. The conversations slowly turns from amiable to deathly serious, as Landa wears the farmer's defenses down and makes it clear he knows the family is hiding in the house.
Waltz's performance was hilarious and chilling in equal measure, with Inglourious Basterds' Landa being a cunning, opportunistic and charming sociopath. The role made Waltz an overnight star and he was quickly snapped up to play similar villain roles in movies like The Green Hornet and The Three Musketeers. Waltz teamed up with Quentin Tarantino once more for Django Unchained. This hyper-gory Western teamed former slave Django (Jamie Foxx) with Waltz's Dr. King Schultz, a dentist turned bounty hunter.
While it could be argued Landa and Schultz aren't all that different as characters, with one being a villain and the other a hero, Waltz's performance again proved to be the highlight. Like Samuel L. Jackson or Uma Thurman, Waltz has a natural gift for making Tarantino's dialogue come to life. That's also the reason he's won two Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards for both Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained.
Waltz would follow Django Unchained with another line-up of villain roles, including Horrible Bosses 2, Tim Burton's Big Eyes and, most notably, Blofeld in Spectre. It still feels like no other filmmaker knows how to use Waltz as a performer quite like Tarantino, but the veteran performer has focused on a more divisive range of characters in his most recent projects, such as the kindly Dr. Ido in Alita: Battle Angel. Sadly, it doesn't appear Christoph Waltz is a part of Tarantino's upcoming Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, but with the filmmaker intending to retire from directing with this tenth movie, hopefully, they'll work together one last time.