Christopher Walken talks about his acting style and how learning his lines is so difficult in this Guardian article.
Walken grew up in Astoria, Queens, the kind of second-generation, melting-pot neighbourhood that has long since vanished in New York. He once told an interviewer he “grew up listening to people speaking broken English… and I probably speak English almost as a second language.” This may be the real key to his strange, almost stilted, delivery, alongside the fact that he made an early decision as an actor to wilfully disregard punctuation when reading his lines, a quirk that he guessed rightly would set him apart.
What’s the worst thing about his job? “Learning lines, for sure. I don’t know how people learn their lines quickly. It’s always been a tedious, agonising chore for me. I hate it. It takes me ages to know my lines. I just wish I could do movies with cue cards. That way, it’s easy. Not lazy, but easy. You know what? I wish I could live my whole life with cue cards. I really do.”
Both his delivery and his fondness for cue cards are quite evident in this installment of The Continental on SNL.