The news that Austria’s Christoph Waltz is to play the part of the villain in the forthcoming James Bond adventure “Spectre” is perhaps not so surprising, in that since Waltz shot to international fame in 2009 for his Oscar prize winning performance in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” he seems to have cornered the market for baddies.
Already reasonably well known in the German spoken world through his performances over many years in the likes of the cult crime series “Tatort”, he seems to be very comfortable with his sudden international fame, apparently enjoying his appearances on several US talk shows, most recently the Tonight Show.
Earlier this month, his pal Quentin was on hand again to help with the imprint of Waltz’s own hands in Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame”
|Bond's Aston Martin - thief's idea of public transport|
The Austrian Bond connection is set to continue in January in Tirol with the filming of some scenes from the forthcoming film “Spectre.” Unfortunately, several cars selected for use by 007 have been stolen, which rather inconveniences our James poor fellow. Never mind, public transport is very good in Austria.
Shortly after news of the theft broke, this writer was walking at dusk along a leafy laneway on the outskirts of Vienna, when a sharply dressed figure emerged from the gloom, running. Dark well cut suit, white shirt, tie adding a dash of colour to the ensemble. Highly polished shoes, shining in the darkness. Athletic gait.
It was only a matter of time before 007 showed up in Vienna, I thought. Why? Because as Emil Bobi in his book “Die Schattenstadt” (The Shadow City) describes, Vienna is THE world leader in espionage with apparently at least 7,000 spies plying their trade here. This tradition of subterfuge goes back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire but more recently Austria’s status as a neutral land bordering three Iron Curtain countries, enhanced Vienna's reputation as being a melting pot for spies .
Bond slowed down just long enough for the keen observer to see that it was questionable he was of a legal age to order a Vodka Martini never mind know whether it was shaken or stirred. James added, he couldn’t stop as he was late for his dance class at Elmayer Studios and if he delayed he’d miss his tram.
For the uninitiated, Elmayer is to dance and Vienna what Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is to cinema and Hollywood. Every year, dozens of teenagers enrol at Elmayer, to learn etiquette, good manners and of course how to dance. The dress code is definitely smart, very smart. A young man at Elmayer, looks like an apprentice 007, a young lady like a Bond Girl in waiting.
Those who enrol at Elmayer will be offered the opportunity “to open” the Debutantes Ball in the palatial splendour of the Hofburg – the Imperial Palace. A very grand and elegant occasion, this marks the culmination of the “Ball Season” finishing just before midnight on Fasching Dienstag (Shrove Tuesday) at which time, as tradition would have it, the austerity of Lent begins.
At any rate, the young James Bond graduates from Elmayer knowing his Bossa Novas from his Polkas.
And even if he forgets his waltzes, then Christoph is of course on hand to remind him.