Christoph Waltz and Tony Basgallop Chat Thrilling New Series The Consultant
Feb 24, 2023
Two-time Academy Awards-winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) is no stranger to playing delightfully sinister and charismatic characters on screen. It is no wonder why creator, showrunner, and EP Tony Basgallop (Servant, Inside Men) and pilot director Matt Shakman (Star Trek 4) specifically sought out Waltz to portray character Regus Patoff in the upcoming Prime Video series The Consultant, based off of Bentley Little’s 2015 novel.
The 8-episode Season 1 twisted, comedic-thriller series explores the sinister relationship between boss and employee. When a new consultant, Regus Patoff (Waltz), is hired to improve the business at App-based gaming company CompWare after the CEO is murdered, employees including Craig (Nat Wolff) and Elaine (Brittany O’Grady) experience new demands and challenges that put everything into question, including their lives.
Christoph Waltz and Tony Basgallop Chat The Consultant
Nicki Sun: I’m so excited to be here with the creator, showrunner, EP, and lead of the highly anticipated series, The Consultant. How are you gentlemen doing today?
Christoph Waltz: Very well, now that you’ve appeared.
Tony Basgallop: Good, thank you.
Sun: I tried to bring a little CompWare into our interview today, but I did wanna ask how The Consultant found its way to each one of you. Tony, I would like to start with you.
Introducing Regus Patoff
Basgallop: I was interested in doing a workplace thriller, and then one of our producers gave me Bentley Little’s book, and I just loved the tone of it. I loved the humor and the darkness. And you know, the introduction of this character, Regus Patoff, just felt so right for today’s world. You know, someone who doesn’t pause or hesitate in his moments of madness, you know, just kind of has that real presence and creates such mischief and, yeah. So that was me really. So I wrote the pilot. We got the director on board, Matt Shakman, and then we approached Christoph. I think that’s a good point to hand over to Christoph.
Waltz: Yeah. And, that just continued, you know, it’s just one step along the line, and since it felt so very much in sync with the rest, one of the most frustrating things one can do is to disturb a sync. Um, so who am I to disturb any sync? And, so we synced along.
Related: How The Consultant Trailer Introduces Audiences to a New Kind of Workplace
Sun: Well, I’m glad you accepted the sync because I binged the entire season, and I was just laughing, and it was delightfully sinister. So much satire. Can you describe the conversations that happened between you two when it came to creating the character of Mr. Regus Patoff?
The Consultant Was Built Around Christoph Waltz
Basgallop: For me, there weren’t that many conversations. I think it was a question of trust, really, with Christoph. I think, you know, Matt Shakman and I knew who we were casting, you know, and we knew that we were gonna get a performance and, you know, we knew that he was gonna run by his instinct. So really, once we had Christoph in place, you know, we could build a show around that. And that was a very kind of important thing. I think once we knew that the keystone in it was right, then everything else it felt really comfortable for us.
Waltz: When you’re the one. who you clearly notice that it’s being built around, you must never, ever try to take advantage of that because it’s not you. It’s the character in the constellation. And if you start to believe that it is about you as a person, you disturb, seriously disturb that flow, and do a lot of harm. So what you do is you kind of, you know, submit to the flow and do your best to suffice. If you can muster the discipline to adhere to that, it becomes pure joy. Because that’s what we react to in a joyful manner—flow. And that way you can inspire maybe, or maybe not, but it’s not, you know, you just, do what you were asked to do and, and it’s beautiful.
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Is that Christoph Waltz… Singing?
Sun: Absolutely. And I think you did a little bit more than that. I mean, beyond speaking multiple languages, learning Korean, and if it wasn’t my imagination, I believe you sang the ending credits “My Way” by Frank Sinatra—was that you singing in the credits?
Waltz: No, it was Frank Sinatra.
Sun: Are you sure? I heard a little sinister laugh at the end. I know opera was very much your joy before acting, so it was really cool to see that worked in there.
Waltz: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, it was, it was fun. But again, it came together. There was no, you know, no exertion in effort to force that thing. It just, you know, it just happened, and then we ended up recording this version and, you know, Tony liked it. And, uh, it all fell together. It, it’s not that we were completely detached from it, you know, and no, we did the work, but that’s how it flows together.
Tony Basgallop Is Hopeful for Season 2
Sun: Well, I’m very excited for audiences to see season one, and I hope there’s works for season two?
Basgallop: We’re trying. We would love to, and yeah, I think if it’s right, we will do it.
Sun: All right. Well, thank you, gentlemen. I wish our interviews were a lot longer, but congratulations on a fantastic season. I’m so excited for the world to see The Consultant.
Waltz: Thanks, Nicki.
Basgallop: Thank you.
The Consultant premieres on Prime Video on February 24th.
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