For three decades he made a living as an actor in films and theater and on TV. Then, with the role of the seductively slimy "Jew Hunter" Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, the 53-year-old Austrian made a sensation. The recipient of nearly every supporting-actor prize awarded in the past few months, Waltz is now the prohibitive favorite to win an Oscar. He's taking the accolades not just as a reward, he says, but as encouragement. "The praise is like the start of a new process. All of a sudden with an emphasis on sudden it looks like it's not a lost cause. It looks like I was not traveling on the wrong steamship in the wrong direction." Waltz is now shooting the villain role in The Green Hornet, an action-comedy starring Seth Rogen. From now on, this consummate actor can travel first-class.
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