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Beginners' Christopher Plummer

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WHY THE BUZZ

His joyful turn as Hal, a dad who comes out as gay in his final years, has the veteran actor poised for his first Oscar. “To have this happen at the age of 82 is just marvelous,” he says. “It keeps you young.”

HOW HE NAILED THE ROLE

The part, based on director Mike Mills’s father, “was one of the easiest things I’ve done. What a relief, to be out in the world and be honest about it.”

THE DOWNSIDE OF AWARDS SHOWS

“They start too early,” says Plummer, who took home a SAG Award and Golden Globe. “My mother told me you’re never to put on black tie until after cocktail hour.”

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE

“A large portion of the world still asks me to sing ‘Edelweiss,'” says The Sound of Music‘s Captain Von Trapp. “Trouble is, they haven’t heard me sing. And that’s a good thing for them!”