Beginners writer-director Mike
Mills says he didn't need to persuade Christopher Plummer to take on
a gay role.
In the film, Oliver (played by Ewan
McGregor) tells the story of his father, Hal (Plummer), trying to
catch up on lost time after coming out gay at the age of 75. Hal
begins to openly embrace his sexuality by socializing with other gay
men and dating a man about the same age as his son (Goran Visnjic).
Hal is also attempting to reconnect
with his son after being told he's terminally ill. (The film's
trailer is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Miller has said the film is loosely
based on his father's late-in-life coming out gay.
a new interview with gay glossy The
Advocate, Mills was asked how he persuaded Plummer to take on
his first gay role.
“In terms of being gay, there was
never a word spoken about it, which I was really happy about. I was
really grateful. He was treating it as a man, you know, who was in
love with another man. And needed to do these things before he died,
but it wasn't like a big issue. And talking to Christopher just in
general as an actor, you know, you don't believe you're going to get
Christopher Plummer to be in your movie – he's too great, too
legendary. But once you meet him, he's really simple. He likes to
work, loves to work, loves to work with other actors. He doesn't
think of himself as a big deal – big legend – he just wants to do
Mills also talked about his father's
coming out, which he described as positive.