Tolstoy gains Mirren and Plummer
The Last Station, a biographical film about the famous Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy, has had a big name change of cast. Previously both Anthony Hopkins and Meryl Streep were in line to play the leads, but both those names have been replaces with Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer, both excellent choices.
They are in line to play Leo Tolstoy and his wife Sofya Andreyevn. James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti and Anne-Marie Duff are also set to star.
The run down of the plot that we received last time tells the story gave little away and sets a grand view of the plot.
The historical biopic revolves around the rough last years of Leo Tolstoy's (Hopkins) life, as his wife Sofya Andreyevn (Streep) and leading disciple Vladimir Cherkov (Giamatti) battle for his soul. Tolstoy makes a dramatic exit from his home after dealing with his professed love of poverty and chastity, his immense wealth, a life of hedonism and thirteen kids. The problem is he is too old to make it past a tiny rail station at Astapovo, and he accepts his fate to die alone. Well, not complete alone, since over a hundred newspaperman camp outside for hourly updates on his condition.
However the latest article from Variety with the actor changes has some addition to that and tells us that the film will focus on the last year in his life and his troubled marriage.
Paul Giamatti plays Tolstoy's trusted follower Chertkov who is a supporter of the writer's nonviolent socialist Christian movement, and who becomes Sofia's adversary. James McAvoy plays the private secretary sent by Chertkov to work for Tolstoy who is rather naïve to the events and manipulations going on around him. Anne-Marie Duff will play Tolstoy's daughter Sasha.
The film is expected to start shooting in Europe next week, and I think the change of lead actors is brilliant. Although both Anthony Hopkins and Meryl Streep were strong choices, I just see something special in the combination of Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer, both being examples of the finest actors in the world today, and they're British no less.
Plummer is one of my favourite actors, and I love him on screen, he has such a great presence and a natural, believable style of acting, and complemented with the wonderful Mirren, isn't that a perfect pairing?