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Thesp expands his vision

Hopkins strengthens artistic muscle with painting, piano

Anthony Hopkins’ repeated claims over the years that he was ready to throw in the towel on acting — he’s called the profession “distasteful,” “disturbing” and “stupid” — have never been more far-fetched.

In the last year alone, the burly Welshman has starred in “Proof”; “All the King’s Men”; Robert Zemeckis‘ motion-capture version of “Beowulf”; and “The World’s Fastest Indian,” a motorcycle pic directed by Roger Donaldson, and he’s gearing up for Warners’ “Fractured,” with Ryan Gosling, and “Slipstream,” which he wrote and will direct. (Pic is his first outing as a scribe and second as a director.)

But in a sign that Sir Anthony is indeed looking for fulfillment in other metiers, he’s lately been making waves in the art world.

In October, 100 of his paintings were shown at the Luciane art gallery in San Antonio. They sold out within six days.

“Only recently have I started painting after all these years,” Hopkins told Variety. “My wife persuaded me to find something to do like that, because I’ve worked a lot and it’s good relaxation.”

The thesp is humble about his talents. “I have no clue about painting. I’ve never taken art classes — I can’t sit still for very long. They seem to come out OK, though. But I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”

In May, Hopkins’ art will be shown at the San Antonio Public Library. As part of the event, the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra will play four of Hopkins’ compositions — another of the actor’s extracurricular activities.

“I practice (piano) every day,” Hopkins says. “I play and then write orchestral stuff, and it seems to be very successful.”

As for how he balances his numerous callings, Hopkins says: “I’m a whirlwind. I do everything very fast.”

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