Christopher Plummer gives kidnapping movie a new twist

Christopher Plummer's performance as US oil billionaire J. Paul Getty also changed the tone of the movie about the 1973 kidnapping of Getty's 16-year-old grandson.
Christopher Plummer's performance as US oil billionaire J. Paul Getty also changed the tone of the movie about the 1973 kidnapping of Getty's 16-year-old grandson.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When director Ridley Scott decided to remove Kevin Spacey from his film All The Money In The World and reshoot it with Christopher Plummer, he did not just pull off an extraordinary feat.

Plummer's performance as US oil billionaire J. Paul Getty also subtly changed the tone of the movie about the 1973 kidnapping of Getty's 16-year-old grandson.

"There is a coolness to Kevin. That's his style, even when he's being emotional," Scott said.

"This man (Plummer) has enormous charm, and when you apply that charm to such, sometimes really hard, words, it makes it much more interesting," he added.

Part biography and part thriller, the movie dramatises the kidnapping in Italy of John Paul Getty III and his grandfather's refusal to pay a ransom.

In a rare move, Scott announced in November that he would reshoot the finished film with Plummer after allegations of sexual misconduct against Spacey.

The movie, now starring Plummer along with original cast members Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg, will be released in Europe this week and in the United States on Dec 25.

Plummer, 88, sought to bring humanity to Getty, although he said he "made no pretense at research" for the role ahead of a nine-day reshoot in London and Rome in mid-November. He did not see Spacey's original scenes.

"I had to follow the writing, all in a very short space of time," Plummer said.

"I saw him more vulnerable than the script suggested... so he would have some dimension and some humanity."

Plummer, Scott and Williams were nominated last week for Golden Globe awards.

Scott said he was initially drawn to the project not so much because of the kidnapping but because of the elder Getty. "He's an enigmatic character who isolated himself through wealth. When somebody becomes that wealthy, all the friends start evaporating, so he was an isolated individual," the British director said.