It wasn't until Inglourious Basterds (2009) that German actor Christoph Waltz, already celebrated in his home country, would find an audience in the United States. But once he did, the acclaim was almost immediate.
In the Quentin Tarantino film starring Brad Pitt, Waltz plays a Nazi colonel in World War II that specializes in finding Jewish families in hiding. It was Waltz's first American film, and the awards buzz that ensued was astonishing. Waltz would go on to win over 30 awards for his role, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild award.
It's not often that an actor cleans up that well on their first American movie, and when ET caught up with Waltz after the 2010 Oscars, he confessed to never expecting it.
"[When] you start as an actor, you think about this. You want it. Then... you get acquainted with reality," Waltz remarked. "You forget about it all together."
Of course, by the time the Oscars rolled around, Waltz had already become the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor. Nonetheless, Christoph was completely humble when discussing his victory.
"It kind of falls on your head... Every moment tonight is special."
Three years later, Waltz is again working with Tarantino on Django Unchained, alongside Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie opens Christmas Day, and wouldn't you know it, has already earned Waltz a Golden Globe nomination.
Whether or not Waltz can pick up an Oscar nod on January 15 remains to be seen. But judging from the quality of their first two projects together, it's safe to say that a Tarantino-Waltz combination is something that audiences want to see again and again.
Check out the video to see Waltz's reaction to his first Oscar.