By Sue Corbett Alex Tresniowski Caroline Leavitt JOANNA POWELL
December 01, 2008 12:00 PM

What was it like playing Captain von Trapp in one of the world’s best-loved films? “I wasn’t really crazy about that character,” says Plummer, 78. Or about the 1965 movie itself, which he nicknamed “S & M.” He shares the memories in his new memoir, In Spite of Myself.

WHAT REALLY BOTHERED HIM “Probably due to an overabundance of nuns in the cast, there was … at times, an atmosphere of overreverence which irritated me no end.”

HOW HE BEHAVED “I’ll admit it, I was … a pampered, arrogant young bastard, spoiled by too many great theater roles.”

THOUGHTS ON JULIE ANDREWS “She made the simple dance numbers appear completely natural and improvised, and that big heart of hers burst through everything she did. ”

CUT! TAKE 12 … During the gazebo scene (left), “two elusive carbons rubbing accidentally together made a sound as if someone was … continuously farting. We dissolved in raucous laughter.”

HIS SINGING “I had never sung before in my life, not even in the shower…. To stay on a long-sustained note was, for me, akin to a drunk trying to walk the straight white line.”

HOW “S&M” LOOKS TO HIM NOW He saw it recently and “realized what a terrific movie it is…. Cynical old sod that I am … I felt a sudden surge of pride that I’d been part of it.”

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