Christopher Plummer Used to Call 'Sound of Music' 'Sound of Mucus' Before Admitting It Was a 'Good Picture'

"That damn movie follows me around like an albatross," Christopher Plummer once said

Christopher Plummer's best-known film The Sound of Music wasn't always one he held in high regard.

Plummer's death on Friday at the age of 91 spurred an outpouring of tributes from fans and stars alike who recalled their first experiences watching him in the 1965 musical, also starring Julie Andrews.

Despite the film becoming a classic, the Oscar-winning actor consistently disparaged the film, famously calling it "The Sound of Mucus," according to The New York Times.

"That sentimental stuff is the most difficult for me to play, especially because I'm trained vocally and physically for Shakespeare," Plummer told PEOPLE in 1982. "To do a lousy part like von Trapp, you have to use every trick you know to fill the empty carcass of the role."

The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music. 20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

He added, "That damn movie follows me around like an albatross."

In 2011, Plummer reiterated that Captain von Trapp was the "toughest" role he'd ever played during The Hollywood Reporter's actors roundtable.

"Because it was so awful and sentimental and gooey," he explained with a laugh. "You had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some minuscule bit of humor into it."

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He later admitted, "It's a very good picture for what it is, somebody had to be Peck's bad boy and I chose myself."

His outlook on the film softened over time. In his 2008 memoir In Spite of Myself, Plummer confessed that he actually enjoyed the movie — despite previously criticizing it — when someone put it on at a children's party.

"The more I watched, the more I realized what a terrific movie it is," he wrote. "The very best of its genre — warm, touching, joyous and absolutely timeless. Here was I, cynical old sod that I am, being totally seduced by the damn thing — and what's more, I felt a sudden surge of pride that I'd been part of it."

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