He gets more work in his eighties than he has ever gotten before in his life. He is Christopher Plummer and has just won a new Golden Globe for his work in a film. He has done many films lately but is best known for his role in The Sound of Music as Captain Von Trapp a 1965 film. He received his Golden Globe award this year 2012. His roles now are extremely different from the antiseptic one that was.
In the new film of the well known Novel “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” He plays a person from a wealthy Swedish family in this movie with Daniel Craig famous from his James Bond roles. Christopher is no longer singing in Musicals. He is bitterly investigating the disappearance of his grand niece in this movie.
At 82 years old, the veteran actor feels he has gained popularity because there aren’t many old actors left for roles for older men that haven’t died yet! In another film this year, “Beginners” Plummer plays a father who finds new life when he comes out of the closet after years of marriage to a woman. He got his first Oscar nomination in 2009 playing a Russian writer in “Last Station.”
He admits that he works harder and more frequently in his 80’s than he has ever worked before. He has appeared in more than 90 films but has never been considered a movie before now because he has always chosen work in the theater. Film makers then regard you as dead or in the theater.
My problem with the theater or even Broadway actors is that even if they performed their greatest, it is gone and forgotten quickly but your work in the movies are eternal and you instantly become forever young. He grew up in Montreal and is the great grandson of a former Canadian Prime Minister.
In high school he was inspired to act and at age 18 he was already receiving rave reviews from the Canadian stage. In the 1950’s he came to America and did theater here. He says he loves a live audience. He won a Tony Award in 1974 and was also well known for his portrayal of Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello opposite James Earl Jones as Othello. They both got rave reviews .
He earned another Tony in 1997 playing actor John Barrymore. The play is now being made into a film. His home in Connecticut is full of pictures of his roles and of his co-stars. Ironically, the Sound of Music is his most famous role which he found to be a too superficial film with cutesy singing and dancing that was and is too different from the strong characters he has always played in film and the theater.
Last year Oprah staged a reunion of the entire cast from the Musical where one of the now adult children confessed that they learned how to drink from him. Apparently, Christopher had a problem with Alcoholism even during that film. The only thing being cast in The Sound of Music did for his career was to ensure that he would be type cast as uptight, young, arrogant leading men.
He preferred to play character roles like Rudyard Kipling in the film, “The Man Who Would Be King.” Or when he played Sherlock Holmes in “Murder by Decree.” And in 1999 he played CBS’s Mike Wallace in “The Insider.” The part that he regrets not playing was playing the King in “Becket.” He did play the King in London on the stage but the film role in 1964 went to another rising star named Peter O’Toole.
Christopher Plummer realizes that Peter was getting all the roles he should have gotten to become a great movie star. Peter O’Toole just had the lead in 1962 in “Lawrence of Arabia.” a blockbuster film that everyone saw. He admits that he led a wild life in his early years. In the late 60’s he met actress Elaine Taylor who became his third wife. They have been together now for 40 years. He accredits her with saving his life from being an alcoholic. They laugh together after an explosive fight that becomes a performance of sort and making up is always the best don’t you think?