Anthony Hopkins has weighed in on his surprise Oscar win, accepting the award from home in a short video. The message, posted early Monday morning, featured a smiling, yet clearly surprised Hopkins thanking the Academy and sharing a heartfelt salute to the late Chadwick Boseman.
“Here I am in my homeland in Wales,” Hopkins began. “At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award, I really didn’t. I’m very grateful to the Academy.”
“I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early,” he continued. “I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored.”
In the caption, the actor also thanked “The Father” director Florian Zeller, his wife and family among others.
Hopkins, who was not present at Sunday night’s ceremony, earned his second best actor trophy for his performance in “The Father,” playing an aging man struggling with dementia as his daughter (Oscar winner Olivia Colman) moves in to take care of him. Hopkins won the lead actor prize 29 years ago for his iconic take on Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.”
In a major change in the rundown from Oscars past, best actor was the final award of the night. Joaquin Phoenix, last year’s best actor winner for “Joker,” presented the category and accepted the award on Hopkins’ behalf. Then the broadcast abruptly ended.
With his win, the 83-year-old actor also made history as the oldest actor, male or female, to earn an Oscar. The late Christopher Plummer previously held the title; Plummer was 82 when he won best supporting actor for “Beginners” in 2008.
While many viewers were surprised to see Hopkins win his second Oscar for the performance, Variety awards editor Clayton Davis predicted the actor could pull an upset over the perceived frontrunner, the late Chadwick Boseman, who was posthumously nominated for his work in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Earlier this month, Hopkins won the BAFTA award in the lead actor category.
Hopkins’ victory wasn’t the Sony Pictures Classics film’s only win. Christopher Hampton and Zeller (who made his directorial debut with the film) took home the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, repeating “The Father’s” BAFTA win in that category.
“The Father” went into the Academy Awards ceremony with six nominations, including best picture, film editing, production design and a best supporting actress nod for Colman.
Earlier Sunday, the actor posted a video performing Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” in tribute to his late father Richard, and showing the elder Hopkins’ headstone.
Richard Hopkins, my beloved father, resting in eternal peace… 🏴
“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” Dylan Thomas pic.twitter.com/LbOegtGa9b
— Anthony Hopkins (@AnthonyHopkins) April 25, 2021