Walken running for president? Don't believe it

For the Record

August 21, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

He was a Russian roulette-playing Vietnam veteran in The Deer Hunter.

He played an unsavory smuggler in Pulp Fiction.

Now somebody, somewhere, apparently thinks the world is ready for Christopher Walken in a new role: leader of the free world.

A claim that Walken had launched a campaign for the White House caused a stir as it made the Internet rounds in recent days, fueled by a Web site (www.walken2008.com) that lists a campaign platform, testimonials and bits of purported Walken wisdom intended to carry him far with voters.

Only, it's all a joke.

Walken's representatives say they aren't sure who masterminded the Web site but speculate that it might have been prompted by Walken's latest film, Wedding Crashers, a hit comedy starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. In it, Walken plays the U.S. secretary of the Treasury.

"The person who put this together was just trying it as a hoax, I presume," said Mara Buxbaum, Walken's publicist. "My take on it is it sounds like the person who put this on the Web took his role in Wedding Crashers too seriously and now wants him to run for the presidency."

A spokesman for New Line Cinema, which released the film, said the Web site is not part of any publicity campaign by its marketing department.

Although the campaign is fake, there's a certain Ross Perot quality to the site that lends it an air of authenticity.

The site suggests that the 62-year-old actor, who won an Oscar for best supporting actor in The Deer Hunter, was motivated by the country's state of affairs.

"Our country is in a terrible downward spiral," Walken is quoted as saying on the Web site. "We're outsourcing jobs, bankrupting Social Security and losing lives at war. We need to focus on what's important - paying attention to our children, our citizens, our future."

Walken's agent, Toni Howard of International Creative Management, scoffed at the notion of Walken's running for office.

"I don't know where they got it," Howard said.

Howard also said she was assured by Walken's fan club that it had no role in the hoax.

Warren Adelman, chief operating officer of the domain name registrar GoDaddy.com in Scottsdale, Ariz., confirmed that the Walken presidential domain name was registered through his company. But Adelman could not identify who was behind the site because it is registered to Christopher Walken for President and only lists a Los Angeles post office box - with a Florida ZIP code - as an address.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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