I post this video every so often. It’s very calming. I love, love, love, love the way Chris Walken pronounces “chicken” and “pears.” Certain people says certain words perfectly, and I mean better than anyone else in the world. Walken saying “pears” (“peahrs“) is like Peter O’ Toole pronouncing “ecclesiastical.”
I visited Walken’s Upper West Side apartment twice in ’79. I had an excellent thing going with a lady named Sandra who was working for Walken and his wife as a kind of au pair or house-sitter. I remember the oriental rug on the living room floor, you bet, and the wood-burning fireplace in front of it. I don’t know why Sandra and I didn’t last for more than four or five weeks but it wasn’t for lack of interest on my part.
I ran into Walken at the Westport train station in the fall of ’78. This was two or three months before The Deer Hunter opened. I knew him only from his “whoa…who’s this guy?” performance in Paul Mazursky‘s Next Stop, Greenwich Village (’76). I saw him standing on the platform, I introduced myself, Walken was cool and easy, and we wound up talking all the way into Manhattan.
I spoke to him two years later when I went backstage at the Public Theatre after a performance of The Seagull, but he had no recollection of the train trip. Zip. I could have mentioned Sandra as an ice-breaker but I thought better of it.
The chicken-and-pears video was shot, I’m presuming, at Walken’s home in Wilton, Connecticut, which is where I lived for a few years and where I did my junior and senior years in high school. Paul Dano went to high school there also. And Keith Richards has a big home there.