Stand Up Guys is a silver screen dream team: Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Alan Arkin. The Hollywood heavyweights — all Oscar winners — play a trio of ex cons who reunite for a crazy night of criminal mischief. We talked to Walken, 69, about the overall experience, his amazingly prolific movie career and his life in bucolic Connecticut with his wife of almost 44 years, Georgianne.
The movie looked like a lot of fun to shoot, the ultimate in male bonding. How did you all get along?
Yes, this was absolutely a fun project: A story of three old friends. I can really picture them together when they were 10 years old. It gave me a chance to be with people I really like. I had known director Fisher Stevens from awhile back. We didn’t really have any days off so we spent a lot of time together, up to 16 hours a day for eight weeks.
Did anyone get hurt in all the action and shoot ’em ups?
The car chasing scenes were all done with stunt guys with all this equipment. They attach something called the Biscuit to a sort of trailer that spins like an amusement park ride. It was scary but quite safe. In my down time, I usually stayed at the hotel to rest and study my script.
You’ve appeared in 100-plus movies. Do you have any favorites?
I have this satellite dish with about 40 movie channels, and when I surf sometimes I see some things I’ve been in. It’s interesting and kind of cool to come across yourself. Depends on the movie, of course. Some I’d rather not see again.
Is there anyone you still want to collaborate with at this point?
Sure, there are lots of people I’d love to work with: directors, actors, you never know. In the good times and the down times in my career I’ve never known what I was going to do next. And I don’t know now. It’s always a surprise.
Do you ever get down to South Florida?
My parents used to live in Captiva, and it was a kind of paradise, though I don’t know what it’s like now. I love to stay down in the Miami area someplace along the beach.
What is your life like in Connecticut?
I used to live in New York City, but it got very busy; the traffic in particular is really intense. When I’m not working it’s pretty quiet. I see squirrels, but I don’t think they know my movies.
What is a typical day like for Christopher Walken?
I’m pretty regular; I always try to have some sort of project I’m working on. I get up to exercise and like to cook. I’m careful about what I eat. I try to avoid the stuff that I really like, like ice cream. You have to keep away from that! Until I was in my mid-40s I could eat anything, a whole pizza. It never made a difference and then suddenly. . .
Follow the writer at www.twitter.com/madeleinemarr