Interview: Christopher Plummer on the Oscars

Christopher Plummer for 'Beginners'

Christopher Plummer — widely seen as the frontrunner to pick up the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Beginners — maintains Academy Award recognition has to be put in perspective.

He says: “I think serious people like myself, actors like myself, love the words and the work first, and if you just happen to have a prize come your way, that’s even better particularly if it’s from your peers.”

82-year-old Plummer has been a regular at many pre-Oscar contests picking up numerous trophies along the way, including a BAFTA award for his supporting role in Beginners.

Awards season is competitive with nominees jostling for attention. The actor says: “There’s a certain feeling that you’re pushing yourself, which I hate.”

But Plummer is enthusiastic when it comes to discussing his role.


In Beginners, he plays a 75-year-old widower who comes out of a closet as a gay man and passes life lessons on to his son portrayed by Ewan McGregor. Plummer’s character is also terminally ill, but it’s not a dark film.

The actor says: “I thought the script was very humanly written and not sentimental and cloying. I thought it had a tough, happy, positive look on death.”

“It was a loose American role, which made me feel extremely comfortable in front of a camera, more so than I’ve been in most films I’ve ever made,” he adds.

Plummer has a glorious track record of work in cinema, television, and on stage. He’s known for taking on classical roles, but he’s probably still best known for playing Captain Von Trapp in the 1965 film The Sound of Music.

At this point in his career, Oscar recognition would be welcomed.

He says: “Well, it wouldn’t be bad, because it sort of revives. If you’re approaching 90, it’s nice to feel like a child, that you’re starting again, gives you a youthful look on things. I suppose that’s the value.”