(Credits: Far Out / TIFF)
As one of Britain’s most cherished acting talents, Anthony Hopkins has blazed a trail of unparalleled consistency. Like many of his celebrated peers, young and old, Hopkins honed his craft at the Royal National Theatre. Here, he studied the work of Shakespeare and, most notably, joined a stage production for King Lear, his favourite play by the Bard of Avon.
Following his first Academy Award win for The Silence of the Lambs in 1992, Hopkins’ screen career took off through the 1990s and into the new millennium. In more recent years, an outstanding performance in Florian Zeller’s The Father in 2020 earned Hopkins the distinction of becoming the oldest ‘Best Actor’ Academy Award winner to date, as he swiped his second trophy.
In 2019, while promoting his most recent movie, The Two Popes, where he portrayed Pope Benedict XVI, Hopkins met up with his fellow Legends of the Fall star Brad Pitt to discuss modern cinema and movie-going habits for Interview Magazine.
During the conversation, the Welsh actor revealed that he’s ironically “not a great fan of going to movies anymore.” However, he reassured Pitt that he had watched and enjoyed the American actor’s Oscar-winning role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
“I’m not great at going to see the green screen films,” Hopkins added. “I’ve been in a few of them, and they’re fun, but they don’t grab me. I’m a bit too old for that.”
Elsewhere, Hopkins told Pitt that in interviews, he’s often asked to give his vows on current affairs both inside and outside the arts industry. Hopkins said he feels unqualified to discuss such matters publically as an actor.
“I don’t have any opinions,” Hopkins said. “Actors are pretty stupid. My opinion is not worth anything. There’s no controversy for me, so don’t engage me in it because I’m not going to participate.”
Hopkins ostensibly means to say that, generally, actors are given a platform to influence their fans but usually won’t have opinions any more valid than the next layperson. An A-lister may portray a neurologist in a movie, but woe betide the man who asks them to locate their brain.
It would appear Hopkins sees more intellect in filmmakers. Discussing Michael Bay’s work on the Transformers movies in a 2017 interview with Yahoo at CinemaCon, he said: “All those machines and those Transformers are created by Michael. And he was telling me about the work he did on them – how he would refine them and go into the special effects guys and design them and get all the details of light on metal and all that.”
“He told me all that at breakfast before I started on the film,” Hopkins added. “I thought, ‘This guy’s a genius. He really is.’ He’s the same ilk as Oliver Stone, Spielberg and Scorsese. Brilliance. Savants, really, they are. He’s a savant.”
Watch Anthony Hopkins perform in a scene from Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight below.