Young actor Charlie Plummer is only in hard to watch films

In 1973, while vacationing in Rome, John Paul Getty III, the grandson of “the richest men in the world,” was kidnapped by a motley group of Italian gangsters. He was held for five months while his oil tycoon grandfather negotiated a two-million-dollar ransom, during which time his abductors started to make good on their threat to return him “in little bits”—at one point severing his ear and sending it to a local newspaper. “I don’t personally know anyone who’s had to act out a scene where they get a body part cut off,” says Charlie Plummer of starring in his feature film debut as the tortured young Getty in the upcoming biopic thriller All the Money in the World. “It was pretty horrific.” It was neither the horror nor the glamour of the Getty story that first enticed the 18-year-old actor into taking the part; rather it was the alienation and loneliness of someone with such privilege. “He had to grow up fast,” says Plummer. “As a young person in an industry run by adults, I can relate.” It probably didn’t hurt that the film’s director is Ridley Scott. “Working with Ridley was a dream,” says Plummer, who was raised in Cold Spring, New York, by an actress mother and TV-producer father. “Not only because of who he is, but also the way he works. He focuses so much on the moment.”

For now, Plummer has decided to postpone college to focus on his burgeoning career. In addition to the Getty film, he recently appeared in the indie drama Lean on Pete, directed by Andrew Haigh, about a young man who bonds with a racehorse before tragedy strikes. “Basically, every film I’ve been a part of has been pretty sad and pretty hard to watch,” he admits. “This one, I would say, is the hardest to watch.” Plummer, a resolute East Coaster who splits his time between his parents’ house and his girlfriend’s midtown Manhattan apartment, swears that he’s much more upbeat than his roles would suggest. “I’m not someone who seeks
out stories of people who are suffering,” he says. “I think they just kind of find me.”