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For somebody so amazingly adept at hiding behind her roles, Amanda Plummer arrived at the Oldenburg International Film Festival with a vibrant personality of her own.
The actress on Friday was the recipient of the fest’s lifetime achievement award for her body of work, which was celebrated with screenings of Pulp Fiction, The Fisher King and Butterfly Kiss.
Disarmingly unpretentious, Plummer quickly won over the hearts and minds of festival staff, guests and onlookers alike, recounting (and re-enacting) her first meeting with Sir Laurence Olivier — her hair caught fire, prompting the legendary thespian to give her the ultimate actor’s compliment: “You’ve upstaged me” — or simply joining in the fun at any of the festival’s many parties and receptions.
German director Linus de Paoli, who introduced Plummer onstage at Oldenburg’s state theater for her award, recalled the advice the actress gave him when they shot his first feature, Dr. Ketel: “‘Don’t be afraid to fall. We’ll fall together and see what happens.’”
De Paoli credits these creative nudges (and Plummer’s willingness to take a part in a no-budget film without pay) with allowing him to overcome his first-feature fears. The result was the winner of Oldenburg’s best film honor, the German Independence Award, in 2011.
Returning to Germany’s leading indie film festival this year, Plummer took the stage to thunderous applause. After singling out French director Christophe Honore, who had also just received an award for his body of work, she thanked the audience and, in a broad sweep, “people in the arts, or not.”
Humble, gracious and charming at once, she won over the room.
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