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)”
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.