The Block Island Times

Christopher Walken T-Rex terrorizes Manhattan

Walken: “We can bring it over on the ferry.”
By Stephanie Turaj | Oct 31, 2013
Courtesy of: Ethan Cyr

What has little arms, a big head and Christopher Walken’s face?

A Tyrannosaurus Rex statue, that’s what. Three New York City high school students — Ethan Cyr, Caleb Kuball and Isaac Auslander — built what they have called the Christopher Walken T-Rex this summer and it’s now on display in lower Manhattan.

The 16-foot statue, which took about three months to construct, is made of wood, chicken wire, fabric, clay and then painted.

The face, of course, is the most important detail on the T-Rex. Whether or not the face actually looks like the famous actor is up to the viewer. Ethan said that he worked with a friend to sculpt the features out of clay.

“Overall, I’m pretty satisfied. There’s some details and some painting I’d like to do, a little touch-up,” said Ethan.

Walken, an Oscar-winning actor best known for his roles in films such as “The Deer Hunter” and “Pulp Fiction,” owns a home on Block Island. The three New York teenagers are big fans of the actor — but they said the idea to build a dinosaur with Walken’s face on it was a completely random one.

“I wanted to build something amazing,” said Ethan. “Me and Caleb ended up talking about a T-Rex with Christopher Walken’s head. Our conversation began to trail off. That was one of the most ridiculous conversations that we’ve ever had.”

The boys said that they don’t think Walken knows of their project. “To the best of our knowledge, he doesn’t know,” said Caleb. “I’d hope he takes no offense by it. I think he’s a cool guy — I’d imagine he’d appreciate it. We do love Christopher Walken.”

When asked by The Block Island Times, Christopher Walken said he was not aware of the project.

“I haven’t seen it, but I’m flattered,” said Walken. “I’ve always been fond of T-Rexes. Everybody enjoys T-Rexes.”

Walken wished the group “good luck” in finding a place to display the project permanently.

“Perhaps we can find a place for it on Block Island — maybe by the Painted Rock,” he said. “We can bring it over on the ferry.”

Ethan posted the idea on a fundraising website called Indiegogo, asking for $750 to pay for supplies to build the T-Rex, and raised $2,680 instead.

“When I found out how much money, I was incredibly surprised,” said Ethan. “I have five times more than what I was expecting. I was expecting to get $500.”

With the extra money, Ethan said the T-Rex was made with better material than originally planned, so it could be sturdier and withstand the elements. The “skeleton” of the T-Rex is plywood, and there is chicken wire attached to the skeleton to support the skin, which is made of the fabric muslin, and coated with a glue and water compound. The skin pattern is painted on.

“I think we’re pretty happy with the finished T-Rex. It’s definitely a little taller than we expected,” said Caleb. The original plan was for a 13-foot dinosaur, and the final project is 16 feet.

“I would like to thank everybody, and all the contributors to this project,” said Caleb. “This project has been relying on the goodness of everyone. The community has really helped us out.”

The crew built the dinosaur in an office space of a family member. After the project’s display in First Street Green Garden in New York, they hope to display it in various gardens and spaces throughout New York. After that, the dinosaur’s future is unknown. They have considered selling it.

“Honestly, I’d see if Christopher Walken wants it,” said Caleb.

Isaac and Caleb attend arts and tech schools in New York — Isaac is involved in theater technology and Caleb in art design. Ethan attends his local high school and is also involved in theater production.

The boys said some of their favorite Walken movies include “Mousehunt,” “Pulp Fiction” and “The Deer Hunter,” to name a few.

“If I met him [Walken,] I would tell him I’m an incredible fan, he’s amazing and I hope he likes my T-Rex with his face,” said Ethan. “I really hope that he’s just not completely terrified. If I found out that someone was building a 16-foot Rex with my face, I would be intimidated.”

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