Fact: Christopher Walken worked as a lion tamer in a circus when he was 15.
Few actors can add this kind of impressive experience to their resume. According to Walken, however, there was nothing that spectacular or dangerous about his job. The lion was named Sheba and she was quite old at the time.
Walken said in various interviews that Sheba acted much more like a dog or a domestic housecat than a wild lion. She could be petted and Sheba also used to rub her head in Walken’s leg. When it was time for performance, Sheba could give just a bit of a roar for the audience but that was as dangerous as it ever got. The lion taming assistant position was advertised in a newspaper and Walken applied because he liked cats. During shows, the main lion tamer would run into the cage and chase out all the other cats leaving Walken in their with what he called, “a dog” for a lion. That is where the infamous Chrisopher Walken cowbell display came from.
Walken is far from the only Hollywood celebrity that had a circus career. Mr. James Bond himself – Pierce Brosnan – spent some time working as a fire eater in a circus. He was an acting student when he accidentally passed by a fire-eating workshop. Curious, he had a pick and saw that a couple of the students were topless ladies. Brosnan quickly signed up for the class.