LOS ANGELES — While Canadian actor Christopher Plummer is famously no great fan of his role in The Sound of Music, he’s thrilled to participate in the film’s 50th anniversary celebration this month, which includes a special honour for the 85-year-old Oscar winner: Adding his hand and footprints to the cement collection at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre.
“I love that idea,” said Plummer, who is set to leave his prints on March 27 as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival. “When I was happy enough to get the Oscar, I (thought) oh, I think I should get this too, really. But I won’t say anything. And then it happened! It’s great. I don’t care that it’s the end of my life. It’s a refreshing thing to have happen when you’re getting on.”
Not that the actor has slowed at all with age. He plays a manager to Al Pacino’s aging rock star in next month’s Danny Collins and shares the screen with John Travolta in the crime thriller The Forger.
“They’re not all boring, old men dying,” Plummer said of his latest roles. “Even though I am kind of 85 now, I think I can pass for late 60s, 70, so maybe there’s a few more years yet. I’d love to play a dashing young thing, though, who jumps in and out of Rolls Royces, who has a huge wardrobe that I could take home afterward.”
Among the directors he’d still like to work with? Wes Anderson and Steven Spielberg.
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A professional actor for almost 60 years, Toronto-born Plummer originally wanted to be a concert pianist but switched courses when he realized what a lonely occupation that would be. Acting, he said, “is much more gregarious.”
His career is as he expected it would be, and he loves the work as much now as he ever did.
“I adore the profession,” he said. “In acting, you go all over the world, you’re paid for it and you stay there so you get to know the country and the people, because they’re working alongside you, so it’s a huge learning experience…
“That part of filmmaking is divine, and of course I’m crazy about the theater. I’ve been in it all my life, and I don’t think there’s anything that replaces the feeling of a live audience.”