Christoph Waltz says he is not playing the classic James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Sam Mendes's forthcoming movie, Spectre. Speculation has been rife that the Oscar winner's character Franz Oberhauser would be revealed as Blofeld, though the actor told GQ magazine that the rumour couldn't be further from the truth.

Christoph WaltzChristoph Waltz has denied he will be playing James Bond's arch-nemesis Ernst Blofeld

"That is absolutely untrue," said the Austrian actor, 58. "That rumour started on the internet, and the internet is a pest. The name of my character is Franz Oberhauser."

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Waltz - who won Oscars for Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained - admitted he had reservations taking the role though was ultimately swayed by the calibre of the cast and crew. Daniel Craig once again plays Bond, with Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Belucci, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris also appearing.

"I did, yes. I always hesitate," said Waltz. "You ask yourself, hang on: what James Bond are we talking about? The thing about Spectre is that it is not the work of hack writers. It does not have a hack director. The actors are not hams. The action sequences in Mexico are extravagant to say the least. The scenes in Austria are traditional Bond action in the snow. These films with Daniel Craig have shifted the tone. They don't depend on a set formula that forces actors simply to go through the motions."

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The speculation over Blofeld's return to the Bond franchise was sparked after the production company Eon settled a long-running legal case with the estate of the character's co-creator Kevin McClory, which now allows Ernst to be used on screen again.

Blofeld has been played on-screen by Donald Pleasence, Charles Gray, Telly Savalas and Max Von Sydow. He also inspired the Dr Evil character in Mike Myers' Austin Powers films.