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Christopher Plummer was recently part of one of the wildest decisions in film history when he was brought in at the last minute to replace a single actor in a finished film. Now, the actor speaks about how he accomplished so much in so little time. Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty for the new movie All the Money in the World and filmed all of his scenes in just nine days. Plummer says he had to rely on his director Ridley Scott for suggestions regarding how to play the character, since he had no time to research the part, and he left the rest up to the wardrobe department and his own imagination. According to Plummer...
I hadn't researched him very well -- in fact, no one had researched the old man very well. I really followed the script and Ridley's suggestions, which weren't many because there wasn't much time. So I had to invent certain things instinctively on my own; I just relied on my own imagination of what the man must've been. A strange creature, he was. And the photographs -- without imitation, I tried to just get a little bit of his likeness. We don't look unlike each other, there wasn't a huge amount of [makeup]. They pushed my ears forward because he had big ears that sort of flapped. That was rather painful, I have to say, when they put something to press them forward all the time. But it did wonders, because it made me look much more like him. The suits, the costumes, everything helped.
Following a series of allegations against actor Kevin Spacey that has seen him removed from the upcoming season of House of Cards as well, director Ridley Scott made the unprecedented decision to take his completed movie starring the actor, All the Money in the World, and re-film every scene in which Spacey appeared. Since the movie was otherwise done and it had a release date to meet, there wasn't the usual amount of time before shooting where an actor can research a role, get to know the character, or otherwise make decisions about how to play the part.
As Christopher Plummer tells The Hollywood Reporter, he basically had to go with his gut and leave the rest up to the crew. Plummer credits the makeup and wardrobe people for helping make him look more like J. Paul Getty, which certainly helps an actor feel like they are more in the role. From there, he basically just had to go with a performance that felt right.
Whatever the cast and crew of All the Money in the World did, it seems to have worked. Christopher Plummer was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance, as was co-star Michelle Williams and director Ridley Scott. Whether this is an indication of bigger accolades to come is too difficult to tell at this point. All the Money in the World opens in theaters today.