When we heard that there was a film in the pipeline called Seven Psychopaths, we figured there was a pretty good chance Christopher Walken was somehow involved — and yep, sure enough, co-starring alongside Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson is our Mr. Walken, doing the slightly-restrained variation on the bananas weirdo screen persona we’ve all come to know and love. In celebration of a new bit of insanity from the man, we’ve selected what we believe to be his ten nuttiest performances — not his best, mind you, but his craziest. And even that list was hard to whittle down, so add your own favorites in the comments.
THE ROLE: Duane, brother of the title character.
THE WALKEN TOUCH: Walken invests this early role (one of his first) with a quiet, creepy, haunted quality — in contrast to much of his later, more operatic crazy-work. This is just as unnerving, though.
KEY LINE: “I tell you this as an artist, I think you’ll understand. Sometimes when I’m driving… on the road at night… I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The… flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.” (Alvy’s response: “Right. Well, I have to — I have to go now, Duane, because I, I’m due back on the planet Earth.”)