The Sound of Music has managed to stand the test of time thanks to its extraordinary cast and timeless soundtrack. Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews brought the movie to life — along with the seven von Trapp children — and created an unforgettable story. And while on screen it may have looked like things were as idyllic and peaceful as the Austrian Alps, there were more than a few issues behind the scenes.
Christopher Plummer hated filming ‘The Sound of Music’
Even though The Sound of Music is a generally lighthearted movie filled with plenty of feel-good moments, Christopher Plummer didn’t care for the movie at all and dreaded filming every day.
The New York Times reported in 1966 that Plummer referred to the movie as “The Sound of Mucus” more than once. He told the Boston Globe in 2010 that he was “a bit bored with the character” of Captain von Trapp and that the film was “not [his] cup of tea.” He later added that the story was “so awful and sentimental and gooey,” according to Insider.
Plummer opened up about his experiences filming the iconic movie in his 2012 memoir In Spite of Myself. He was partially nervous at the time because as a stage actor he hadn’t had much experience on film yet, but he also admitted he was “a pampered, arrogant young bastard, spoiled by too many great theatre roles.”
Christopher Plummer made filming ‘The Sound of Music’ harder for himself
Because of his frustration with the movie, he made it a point to be miserable the whole time while filming.
“The moment we arrived in Austria to shoot the exteriors I was determined to present myself as a victim of circumstance—that I was doing the picture under duress, that it had been forced upon me and that I certainly deserved better,” he continued. “My behavior was unconscionable.”
His bad attitude spilled over into how he acted towards Andrews and other cast and crew.
Christopher Plummer snapped 1 day on the set of ‘The Sound of Music’
He went on to describe one day that sent him over the edge — and when he realized that he needed to tone down his angry behavior.
“One morning I woke up late with a raging hangover to discover that the film company had left me no call sheet for the day’s work,” Plummer recalled, “Paranoid that [he] had been overlooked, ignored.”
“I went ballistic!” he recounted. “I threw my clothes on and ran all over Salzburg trying to find the unit. I finally came upon them filming a scene with Julie and the children on the outskirts of town. They were in the midst of a take, but I didn’t care. I walked right into the shot and let forth a stream of abuse at [director] Mr. [Robert] Wise and everyone present for their lack of manners.”
“My blood was racing, my heart pounding,” he remembered. “I was apoplectic!” But it turned out that Plummer’s anger was his own fault.
“With the patience of a saint [assistant director Reggie Callow] tried getting it through my thick skull that no call sheet had been sent me simply because I wasn’t needed that day,” Plummer confessed. “Ashamed and embarrassed to the point of despair, I slunk back to my hotel, my tail between my legs. I was not, to put it mildly, in the greatest of shape.”