Plummer channels Tolstoy in 'Last Station'

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  Dec. 29, 2009 at 10:04 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Christopher Plummer says he relished playing iconic Russian author Leo Tolstoy at the end of his life in the new film "The Last Station."

"It was the script (that most appealed to me) because I thought of all the vast life that Tolstoy had. You couldn't make a biography. It wouldn't be a movie anyway, it would be a series and it would take four years," the 80-year-old Canadian actor told UPI in New York recently. "So, it was wise to pick the last moments of (Leo and his wife Sophia's) lives together as the most humanizing moments of agony and joy and passion. And I thought, 'Yes, that's great; people will, perhaps, go away thinking that Tolstoy wasn't the dry old sock that a lot of people think he is because he is so remote to us.'"

Asked if he is overwhelmed by the Oscar buzz his performances in the films "The Last Station," "Up" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" have been generating this year, Plummer replied: "No, it's not overwhelming, it's work. And it's fun work, actually. I enjoyed all the things you named. I had different kinds of fun with each one of them, but it's all fun. As to the Oscar, we don't talk about that because if we do, there's no point in going on."

Written and directed by Michael Hoffman, "The Last Station" is based on Jay Parini's novel and co-stars Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy and Kerry Condon.

Plummer was recently nominated for supporting actor Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for his work in "Station." Mirren earned nods for lead actress SAG and Golden Globe awards for her portrayal of Tolstoy's wife.

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