Monday 21 January 2019

Christoph Waltz: Humanity must remember a time before recklessness

The actor is currently starring in sci-fi satire Downsizing.

The Legend of Tarzan European Premiere – London
The Legend of Tarzan European Premiere – London

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Humanity must remember a time before recklessness set in if it is to secure a future for the next generation, Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz has said.

The Django Unchained star is currently appearing in Downsizing, a film about people who shrink themselves to five inches tall as a solution to over-population.

Waltz stars opposite Matt Damon, who plays a physical therapist who goes to live in a community of tiny people named Leisureland, where money goes infinitely further, allowing inhabitants to live like millionaires.

The Austrian actor plays his entrepreneurial neighbour Dusan, who imports cigars and booze from Serbia wholesale and makes massive profits on the tiny retail portions, while actress Hong Chau plays a Vietnamese refugee who highlights the shanty towns of exploited and impoverished miniature people who do the cleaning and labour.

“Recklessness I think is a really interesting point,” Waltz told the Press Association.

“The original intention might have been benign but at one point turns and tips into recklessness and I think that has something to do with quantity.

“Our world, on account of not least digitalisation and profit making, has shifted towards the quantification of everything and commodification of everything and to reduce this, and at least try to remember the point before the recklessness set in, that might be the downsizing that should help to at least secure a future.

“We all assume that it’s us, it begins and ends with us, but there are people who are coming after us, long after we are gone.”

Waltz defends the actions of his character, pointing out they are “never to the detriment of anybody else, never to anybody else’s disadvantage,” but adds: “Downsizing refers to more than just quantity.

“It refers to a mental process that seems to be more than urgent to remember, in the way our world is going in an acceleration and to an extent that is not acceptable anymore.”

Chau, who was nominated for a Golden Globe and an SAG award for her performance, said the film is director Alexander Payne’s “opus”.

She added: “Alexander and Jim Taylor wrote this script 10 years ago so these things were not quite in the news as much as they are now, so I do feel that this movie, even though it’s timely, I think it’s timeless in its humanistic story.”

She added: “With any sort of technology you can use it for good and you can use it for bad, and we have discussions about that now.

“Is the internet good? Are cell phones good for us? That’s an on-going discussion.

“Of course there are good and bad things about anything, any sort of technological development, and it’s really about human nature and about how we value those things and how we go about implementing them into our lives.”

Downsizing is in UK cinemas now.

Press Association

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