Christopher Walken’s new comedy with Stephen Merchant

Walken is a lot of fun, as he has shown several times hosting the US sketch show. saturday night live. The first stage of him working in Bristol (two series of the outlaws were filmed side by side), coincided with violent protests against the police, crime, sentencing and court bill earlier this year. “The first time I came here there was a lot of noise outside. The second time I came, there was also. The first time it was politics, the second time it was football.”

He attributes his sense of humor to his upbringing. Growing up in Queens, New York, after the war, his mother pushed him and his siblings into acting.

“I was from one of those families that meant I was in show business from the age of five,” he says. “And when I was a kid in America, it was the birth of television after World War II. There were these great shows. Whatever my sense of humor is, it was shaped by people like Milton Berle and Sid Caesar, and Broadway musical comedy.”

Darren Boyd, Rhianne Barreto, Christopher Walken, Clare Perkins, Gamba Cole, and Stephen Merchant in The Outlaws.

Darren Boyd, Rhianne Barreto, Christopher Walken, Clare Perkins, Gamba Cole, and Stephen Merchant in The Outlaws.Credit:James sorry/BBC

Walken trained at the Washington Dance Studio and got his first break on the Broadway stage alongside Liza Minnelli. “I’ve been in Broadway musicals for years, as a dancer, and I think my whole sensibility and even my acting technique is very ‘fourth-wall absent,’” he says. “The famous fourth wall doesn’t really exist for me, for all that time in musicals, where the other character on the scene is always the audience. So I am always very attentive to the audience.”

It’s an audience that, in recent years, has been hit with a kind of filmmaking that is light years away from Walken’s musical roots.

“No one has asked me to do a Marvel! But I think it’s a shame that with one movie costing $200 million, you can make dozens of smaller movies with that money. And it’s a shame that if you make a movie now, it’s unlikely to be seen in a [cinema] unless it’s one of those big ones. Smaller movies are more likely to go straight to the small screen.”

It’s integral to a commercial evolution that ended with a legend like Walken appearing in a big-budget TV series financed in part by a one-time online bookstore, Amazon. But when it means younger viewers will be able to see Walken strut their stuff, it seems rude to complain.

In addition to Walken and Tomlinson, there are five other disparate characters who work in the community room of the outlawsfrom a straight-A student (Rhianne Barreto) who shoplifts for thrills from a young man indebted to the wrong people (Gamba Cole), a middle-aged, middle-class Brexiteer (confusing the usual stereotypes), and a sad-faced lawyer from sack played by Merchant.


There’s a suspenseful plot to do with “county line” drug gangs, and it’s all based on a very real danger – the wonderful thing is that it’s a comedy at all. “I think humor can always come naturally out of very dramatic situations,” says Merchant. “I often think of a lot of the sitcoms that I loved as a kid, whether it be steptoe and sonor Reggie Perrin, or particularly Whatever happened to the probable boys. If you removed the traces of laughter, they would be desperately bleak existential dramas.”

To lighten the mood, musical veteran Walken introduces some of his old moves. “Yes, there is a bit of dancing on the show,” confirms the actor. “I still have it? You know, I hope so. You’ll have to look and see.

I happen to have seen it. No spoilers, but Walken still has it.

the outlaws It’s on Amazon Prime.

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