Time to call the Plum­mer

Cana­dian star happy to be kept busy hon­ing his craft


The world needs more Christo­pher Plum­mer.

The an­nounce­ment that Plum­mer would re­place Kevin Spacey in the film All the Money in the World prompted an in­ter­est­ing re­ac­tion on so­cial me­dia — peo­ple started hap­pily list­ing all the movies they’d like to see reshot with Plum­mer in the lead. He’s a na­tional trea­sure. The Cana­dian star of film, TV and the­atre has a ca­reer that spans 70 years.

Plum­mer, 87, stars in The

Man Who In­vented Christ­mas, a pe­riod piece about Charles Dick­ens and the writ­ing of A Christ­mas Carol. Q: Isn’t it amaz­ing — and sad — how con­tem­po­rary this tale of the rich and the poor is?

A: Yes it is. That’s some­thing I’ve known since I first read Dick­ens as a kid. Most of his work deals with that, and if it doesn’t di­rectly deal with that, it’s there be­hind the lines, it shim­mers dan­ger­ously. Dick­ens was way ahead of his time as a writer. And then there’s (screen­writer) Susan Coyne, a writer of to­day, who matches him ex­tremely well, and is so orig­i­nal in her work on this al­ter­nate take on A Christ­mas Carol. I think she’s done a beau­ti­ful job. Q: Scrooge is a very par­tic­u­lar vil­lain.

A: My clas­si­cal train­ing al­ways helps me with the great vil­lains of his­tory like Scrooge. (Laughs)

My clas­si­cal train­ing al­ways helps me with the great vil­lains of his­tory like Scrooge. (Laughs)”

Christo­pher Plum­mer

I had an ab­so­lute ball. I love play­ing him be­cause there’s al­ways that won­der­ful ter­ri­ble, ugly old hu­mour he has, that cyn­i­cism that’s fun to get your tongue around. I think it’s dif­fer­ent enough, the film, be­cause it’s a dif­fer­ent take on A Christ­mas Carol. So we have no wor­ries about be­ing com­pared to Alas­tair

Sim, for in­stance, or Lionel Bar­ry­more or all the oth­ers who have played it be­fore. Q: You’re so busy right now — with five other movies in the next year.

A: It’s very nice. I need to work. When you’re as old as I am you have to keep work­ing be­cause keeps you alert and young. And it keeps train­ing your mem­ory, which is some­thing that’s rather se­ri­ous. It comes to mind when you get older. It hasn’t hit me yet, thank God. I hope all this work on stage and screen is an ex­er­cise to keep it fresh.

on De­cem­ber 13. Where will you be?

A: I’ll be fly­ing on a plane to Florida, where I live in the win­ter­time. Be­cause I’m a cow­ard. I can’t do cold weather any­more now that I no longer ski. I loved skiing as a young guy, but if you can’t ski any­more, what the hell is the point of snow? (Laughs) Q: You’ve been a celebrity for 60 years — but you seem to have had none of the down­side of fame. That’s un­usual.

A: One does think about that. But you just press on. I’ve not played the game ter­rif­i­cally well. I’ve not played the Hol­ly­wood game, par­tic­u­larly, and yet they’ve man­aged to put up with me and they don’t hold that against me. Some peo­ple I know who don’t play the game are chas­tised for it. You keep a healthy bal­ance. Oth­er­wise I don’t know how to an­swer that. I just press on. Q: Film is per­ma­nent, which is kind of great. What do you think about a last­ing record of your work?

A: It’s also kind of a hor­ri­fy­ing con­cept, be­cause you want to fix what you didn’t do very well, and it’s been im­mor­tal­ized. And it fol­lows you around after death! I don’t think that’s so great. (Laughs)

Twit­ter: @LizBraunSun LBraun@post­media.com


Christo­pher Plum­mer and Dan Stevens in The Man Who In­vented Christ­mas.

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