Oscar-winning stage and screen star Christopher Walken has been tapped by director Clint Eastwood to play “Gyp” DeCarlo, the mobster with a soft spot for Frankie Valli’s rendition of “My Mother’s Eyes,” in the forthcoming film adaptation of Jersey Boys, according to Deadline.com. Filming is scheduled to begin in September from a script by librettists Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.
Walken is reportedly the first of several stars who will play supporting roles in Jersey Boys, which will balance Eastwood’s previously announced decision to cast stage vets as the Four Seasons. John Lloyd Young will apparently reprise his Tony-winning performance as Frankie Valli alongside Eric Bergen as Bob Gaudio, Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi and Boardwalk Empire cast member Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito.
An Oscar winner for The Deer Hunter, Walken most recently starred in the feature films Stand Up Guys, A Late Quartet and Seven Psychopaths. Walken is also a two-time Tony nominee, for A Behanding in Spokane and The Dead. He began his career in the 1950s as a dancer in Broadway musicals. (Check out his moves below in Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice," a celebrated 2003 music video.)
Jersey Boys opened on Broadway on November 6, 2005, with Mark Lotito (who is still in the cast) playing Gyp DeCarlo and other roles.