Christopher Plummer: Backstage Oscar Interview

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As Christopher Plummer walked up to the Kodak Theatre stage to accept his Best Supporting Actor Oscar, the announcer hailed him as the oldest Academy Award winner in history. Not so, said the star of Beginners while talking to the movie press. “I don't believe that for a second,” Plummer said. “I think that Charlie Chaplin, even though it was an honorary Oscar, wasn't he 83? I mean, an honorary Oscar after all is an Oscar, we hope. But it feels pretty good anyway.”

Christopher Plummer Wins Oscar

Plummer has been nominated two times prior, and although the win is nice, the actor claims it is not going to define him -- not a surprising sentiment given the actor’s incredibly esteemed career. “It is a le creme on top, and it's lovely to be accepted,” Plummer said. “Beyond the pleasure of working in front of a live audience, particularly, it's a general acceptance of your work. It's thrilling, and I don't pretend not to pooh-pooh awards, although there's so many of them, I can't keep up. I mean, they're inventing a new one every day!”

When Plummer accepted his award onstage, he thanked his wife for “saving me every day.” Backstage, he further explained that, and his thoughts may surprise the millions who know him as the straight-laced Captain von Trapp. “I'm a naughty boy. I've been bad all my life, and she always puts me in line. I think it's great what she's done,” Plummer said. “It's extraordinary.”

Although he has inspired many in his career, the Oscar win for Beginners should shine a light on his career for a new generation of actors. When it comes to those who inspired him, knowing the actor is Canadian, his answer should not be too surprising. “In the French cinema we had when I grew up, I saw a lot of French films, because I lived in Quebec. From France, there were great actors like Pierre Brasseur, Lewis Gilbert and people who are just extraordinary stage actors,” Plummer recalled. “The great classical actors inspired me when I was quite young. Then, later, the new school of Marlon Brando. I lived through all of those various changes, and they all made their mark upon me.” 

Now that he has an Oscar in hand, is Plummer slowing down at the age of 82? Hardly. “This is sort of a renewal. It's not a beginning exactly, but it has recharged me and I hope I can do it for another ten years at least,” Plummer said. “I'm going to drop dead wherever I am, on stage or on the set. We don't retire in our profession, thank God.”

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