Christoph Waltz's relationship with auteur Quentin Tarantino is proving to be a fruitful one. Three years after winning his first Oscar for the role of Col. Hans Landa in the helmer's Nazi drama "Inglourious Basterds," the Austrian thesp clenched his second Best Supporting Actor win for his turn as dentist-turned-bounty-hunter Dr. King Schultz in the Western "Django Unchained."
Waltz, who wasn't necessarily favored to win, faced a deep field of contenders — all previous Oscar winners — that included Alan Arkin ("Argo"), Robert De Niro ("Silver Linings Playbook"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("The Master") and Tommy Lee Jones ("Lincoln").
The 56-year-old was quick to recognize his fellow nominees, followed by his cast (including Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio) and crew before dedicating the final moments of his acceptance speech to Tarantino, who it could be said gave the actor his big break stateside in 2009's "Inglourious." (Waltz has since appeared in "Water for Elephants" and "The Three Musketeers.")
"We participated in a hero's journey, the hero here being Quentin," Waltz said. "You scaled the mountain because you're not afraid of it. You slayed the dragon because you're not afraid of it, and you crossed through the fire because it's worth it. I borrowed my character's words. Sorry. Thank you."
"Django Unchained" is nominated for five Oscars, including Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The film tells the story of a freed slave (Foxx) who, along with Waltz's Schultz, battles to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from her owner Calvin Candie (DiCaprio).