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Anthony Hopkins on film stardom at 84: ‘He said, Oh my God. You’re really strange!’ - - Welcome Press "Enter" to skip to content

Anthony Hopkins on film stardom at 84: ‘He said, Oh my ***. You’re really strange!’

From Hannibal Lecter to Nixon, Anthony Hopkins has long been one of cinema’s most singular stars. He recalls winding up Brad Pitt, working with Bob Hoskins and weirding out Jonathan Demme

It is lunchtime in Los Angeles, and Anthony Hopkins is having a dizzy spell. “I’m lying down on the bed,” he says, calling from home. “I’m looking at the sun shining on the Pacific ocean.” There are worse views to contemplate while you collect yourself.

His voice is soothing, his halting delivery prone to the odd acceleration whenever the memories start flowing. Unmistakable is that mixture of ebbing sadness and defiant resolve familiar from more than 50 years of performances, but most of all from his towering turn in The Remains of the Day as the repressed wartime butler too dutiful and deluded to register his employer’s fascist sympathies. Hopkins is a warmer presence, altogether less blighted, though waves of melancholy still whoosh in and out of his conversation. It is his custom to dispel them with some stoic statement or other. “Just get on with it,” he tells himself at one stage, “stop kvetching.” But they always come back.

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