Christoph Waltz is an Austrian actor best known internationally for his portrayal of Hans Landa in the film Inglourious Basterds, a role that earned him widespread critical acclaim and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Christoph Waltz studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York. He started as a stage actor, playing at venues like Zurich's Schauspielhaus Zürich, Vienna's Burgtheater, or the Salzburg Festival. He became a prolific actor on television.
In 2000, he directed his first film, the TV production Wenn man sich traut. In Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, Waltz portrayed Standartenführer Hans Landa aka "The Jew Hunter". For this role, he received the Best Actor Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and has received acclaim for the performance from critics and the public.
In 2009, he began sweeping critics' awards circuits, receiving awards for Best Supporting Actor role from the New York Film Critics Circle, Boston Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and for Best Supporting Actor at the 67th Golden Globe Awards. Waltz is a method actor, and continued to play his role as the "Jew Hunter" off the set of Inglorious Basterds.
Tarantino acknowledged the importance of Waltz to his film by stating: "I think that Landa is one of the best characters I've ever written and ever will write, and Christoph played it to a tee… It's true that if I couldn't have found someone as good as Christoph I might not have made Inglourious Basterds."
Waltz was born in Vienna, Austria, to set designers Johannes Waltz and Elisabeth Urbancic. His grandparents were also actors, and his great-grandparents worked in the theatre.
Waltz is fluent in German, French and English and speaks all three languages in Inglourious Basterds. Though he also spoke Italian in "Inglourious Basterds" he stated on the Adam Carolla Podcast that he does not actually speak Italian. He is divorced and has four children. He currently lives in London.