The director Michael Cimino convinced Christopher Walken to spit in Michael's face. When Walken actually did it, Robert De Niro was completely shocked, as evidenced by his reaction. In fact, De Niro was so furious about it he nearly left the set. Cimino later said of Walken:
Christopher Walken has received a number of awards and nominations during his career, including winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Nikanor Nick Chebotarevich in The Deer Hunter.