by Anne Thompson
November 11, 2011 4:16 PM 1 Comment
Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
While the supporting actor category is open to change and movement over the next few months, one name is sure to land a slot on Oscar nominations morning: Christopher Plummer. The stage-trained Canadian actor, 81, has been giving great performances for decades, from Baron von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" and Rudyard Kipling in "The Man Who Would Be King" to Mike Wallace in "The Insider" and, remarkably, his first Oscar nomination as Leo Tolstoy in 2009's "The Last Station." But arguably among Plummer's best is the role Mike Mills gave him as Ewan McGregor's ailing gay father in "Beginners." It's a juicy part: late in life, although he's fighting against the dying of the light, the man has come out of the closet and is madly in love with both his freedom and his partner (Goran Visnjic). Plummer is joyful, vigorous, sexy, funny, and heartbreaking. He talks about how he approached the role in the exclusive Plummer featurette below.
"I can't bear looking at myself on the frigging screen," Plummer said at the Toronto Film Festival Q and A for his latest turn as John Barrymore, in a screen version of the Tony-winning play. "It's enough, thank you. I have enough technique now that I don't have to worry about what to do with my hands. " Plummer wishes he could play Shakespeare's Othello as a Moor, he said, "which is difficult because it does belong to African Americans and I might get lynched if I played it. I love that role." Next up this season he plays Henrik Vanger opposite Daniel Craig in David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." "He's the nicest guy in the story," he said, "the only nice guy in the story; the arc to his character intrigued me greatly. Fincher helped me along those lines."