Christopher Plummer portrays actors’ actor John Barrymore

Nov 15, 2012

Film Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer poses for a portrait in New York. Credit: Charles Sykes/AP

In 1942, John Barrymore is preparing to audition for backers to finance a revival of his 1920 triumph, Richard III, and reflecting on his life and career. That was the basis for the play Barrymore, which premiered on Broadway in 1997.  

The stage production has now been made into a film, with Christopher Plummer reprising his Tony Award-winning role as the brilliant, self-destructive thespian. The play, written by William Luce (The Belle of Amherst), was adapted for the screen and directed by Érik Canuel.  If anyone can get inside the skin of a consummate actor, it’s another consummate actor. Plummer received multiple honors, including the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, for his most recent role, the freshly out-and-proud widower in “Beginners.”  

But that’s only one of many dozens of accolades the 82-year old actor has received in his six-decade career, which began in 1958 with Sidney Lumet’s film “Stage Struck.”  Some of his best-loved films include “The Man Who Would Be King,” “Twelve Monkeys,” “A Beautiful Mind” and of course, “The Sound of Music.”  In “Barrymore,” Plummer holds the screen alone for nearly the entire film; the role has already sparked early talk of a second Oscar.

Plummer joins Larry to talk about immersing himself in the mind of an actor who is hoping to triumph in the role of a lifetime – for the second time.


Christopher Plummer, award-winning stage and screen actor, starring in “Barrymore”

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