Iconic actor shines in Egoyan’s latest
Remember, starring Toronto native Christopher Plummer, opens March 11
Revered actor Christopher Plummer knew exactly how he would play his character in Atom Egoyan’s latest film, Remember, upon first reading the script. And he knew it was unlike any other role he’d played. And that’s saying something for a guy with credits in literally hundreds of stage and screen productions.
“First of all, I thought it was a very well-constructed script for someone [writer Benjamin August] who was very young.…” says Plummer, in Toronto for the film’s Canadian premiere during last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“And then I thought for that very reason it was totally different. I’d never done anything like that before. I’d usually played parts that drive the piece.… This one was the victim. The screen drove him, which is not easy.”
Remember tells the story of an aging Holocaust survivor, Zev Gutman, coping with memory loss who sets upon a cross-country journey intent on finding the Nazi responsible for the death of his family members.
This is the second time that Plummer and Egoyan, two Toronto natives, have teamed up, first in the feature film Ararat released in 2008.
“We instinctively hit it off, so we don’t have to go through all those sort of formalities of discussing each thing,” says Plummer, of his working relationship with Egoyan on
Remember. “Because it’s so obvious, the way it’s written, what you have to do. And he just has to remind me not to be sorry for myself.”
Remember was well-received following its TIFF premiere, and most were in awe of Plummer’s performance.
The actor, it seems, is finally getting not only the critical acclaim, but the mainstream adulation long overdue for one of the planet’s finest performers. Plummer finally landed an Academy Award in 2012 for his performance in Beginners, after winning pretty much every other acting award from Tonys to Emmys.
But the actor waxes philosophical about the advantages of age when it comes to the ability to disregard the vanities associated with the profession.
“As a youngster, I was always worried about how I looked,” says Plummer.
“When you’re playing a young leading man, you’re always thinking, ‘Oh my god, if only I had this jaw, my nose is too big.’ It’s so vain. No, I’m so happy to be at an age when I don’t give a damn how I look anymore.”
Plummer was born in Toronto and grew up in Montreal before beginning his career onstage at the Canadian Repertory Theatre in Ottawa.
Remember opens on March 11.
He just has to remind me not to be sorry for myself.”
Christopher Plummer in character as Zev Gutman in ‘Remember’