Christopher Walken Impersonator Who Fooled The AP Speaks Out
First Published: November 21, 2011 3:33 PM EST Credit: Access Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- On Friday, the Associated Press had to issue a retraction when a writer for the news service included quotes from a man who they thought was Christopher Walken, taken from what they believed was a legit interview with ESPN 980.
Unfortunately for the AP, it wasn’t actually Walken talking about the night of Natalie Wood’s death, but rather ESPN 980’s Marc Sterne doing an impression of the actor on “The Tony Kornheiser Show.”
During the impersonation, Sterne acted as Walken speaking out about the re-opening of the investigation into Wood’s death. Walken, along with Robert Wagner, was aboard the yacht with the actress when she drowned in 1981.
“Let’s be honest, I’m sure Julia Roberts does a better Christopher Walken than I do and I’m embarrassed for the AP reporter,” Sterne told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Monday’s Access Hollywood Live. “Christopher Walken hasn’t spoken about this in 30 years, do they really think he’s calling into a D.C. sports show, to talk about Natalie Wood, and then, by the way, give fantasy football tips? It was absurd.”
And the interest in the faux interview only grew when AP published its report, under the impression the interview was real.
“After it aired and AP ran with it, everybody was calling the radio station saying we need the audio, and finally there was a producer that tracked me down and said, ‘Can you just send me the audio?’ and I said, ‘Oh sweetheart, you’re going to be really embarrassed in about three seconds.’ And she said, ‘Why?’ And I said, (puts on Christopher Walken voice) ‘Because it’s me Chris right here, talking to you… It’s me doing the Chris Walken voice.’”
As for AP, the wire service took credit for its mistake on Friday afternoon.
“The Associated Press has withdrawn the 12th and 13th Ld-Writethrus of its story about the Natalie Wood investigation. The story mistakenly quoted Christopher Walken as telling Washington, D.C. sports talk radio station ESPN 980 about his recollections from the night that Wood died. An Associated Press reporter mistook what was actually a station employee’s impersonation of Walken as a real interview,” the news wire service’s correction read.
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