Bestinau got that-
However, when Walken films something tangible good, like True love‘s extended monologue with Dennis Hopper – he feels it. “The stars were well aligned or something,” says the actor, who remembers that day in his usual no-nonsense style. “We shot that in one afternoon and when we were done he said to me, ‘We did a good scene today.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ And he said, ‘Let’s have dinner.’ So we went back to the hotel, the Chateau Marmont I think.”
Walken’s no-nonsense approach dates back to his childhood, when Walken and his two brothers slept from Queens to Manhattan for auditions, rushing to book appearances on variety shows and soap operas. In 1954, when Christopher was 11 years old and still called “Ronald,” his mother, Rosalie, described having her three sons in the business in a newspaper article that aired nationally. “Sometimes I feel like a central casting agency,” Rosalie said, acknowledging that her sons would have to drop out of their mainstream school for an education that’s more flexible for work schedules.
“It was very different from most childhood,” Walken says. “It was an unusual training and I am very happy that I had it. It has given me experience to do what I do as an adult. If you’re a kid artist, you’re competitive. You’re hustling there.” He doesn’t regret missing a “normal childhood” because “I don’t know what it would have been like. I didn’t play baseball, basketball. I still can’t swim, but I can tap dance. It is different.”
I jot down the many Hollywood and entertainment reruns he’s seen — the Studio 54 Days, the botched ’80s, the big-budget ’90s — and ask what his favorite experience has been.
“The interesting thing about my career is that I was part of something that no longer exists,” Walken replies, looking back on his days as a young actor on variety shows – “the early days of television after World War II, when television was born, in the late twenties ’40s and early ’50s.” Those were the days. “In a whole neighborhood full of people, you had one TV set and everyone went to that man’s house to watch his TV. There were no videotapes, so if you didn’t see Uncle Miltie on a particular night, you missed it. It wasn’t like you could watch it again. In those days on television, everything was a bit of a one-off. In New York there were 90 live shows from New York every week. They used a lot of kids, and that’s what I was there for. And that certainly no longer exists.”