Werner Herzog is best known for his work behind the camera, as the director of some of the most memorable movies ever made both fictional (“Fitzcarraldo”) and documentary (“Grizzly Man”).
But as he told Business Insider on Monday, he loves “everything that has to do with cinema,” and that includes being an occasional actor.
Over his career, his unique brand of storytelling that focuses on ambition and the dark fringes of society has bled into the kinds of roles he’s taken, most notably playing the villain in the 2012 Tom Cruise movie “Jack Reacher,” based on the popular Lee Child novels.
Herzog is in his fully glory in “Jack Reacher” playing the sinister Zec, who has spent most of his life in a Soviet Union Gulag and has the scars to prove it — he once chewed off his fingers before the frostbite could turn to gangrene.
Here’s Herzog in action in “Jack Reacher” (his unmistakable voice is perfect for the part):
Now the 74-year-old tells us he’s ready to be the villain on one of the most famous movie franchises ever.
“I think I would be a good villain in a James Bond movie,” Herzog told Business Insider while doing press for his latest documentary, “Into the Inferno,” which will be available on Netflix on October 28. “They were fairly weak the last half-dozen of villains in James Bond movies. They weren’t that convincing.”
Herzog said he was offered big villain roles after “Jack Reacher,” though he wouldn’t reveal what they were, only saying he turned them down because they were “silly stuff.”
“‘Jack Reacher’ was very easy because the function of the villain was just to spread fear and horror,” said Herzog, who believes he can do the same opposite 007.
But he said his villanry is only for the screen.
“You have to ask my wife — she maintains I’m a fluffy husband,” he said.
The 25th James Bond movie has yet to go into production. Producers hope they can get Daniel Craig to return. Craig said he’d grown weary of Bond after “Spectre” but has more recently said he hasn’t ruled out returning as Bond. Maybe the casting of evil Herzog can convince him.