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Anthony Hopkins woke up on Monday a double Oscar winner, a surprise to many, including the Welsh actor himself.
In a brief video posted to his Instagram, The Father star, who is currently in his native Wales, acknowledged his win and gave the acceptance speech he wasn’t able to on Sunday evening and he made a point of paying tribute to fellow best actor nominee, the late Chadwick Boseman.
“Good morning, here I am in my homeland of Wales and at 83-years-of-age I did not expect to get this award. I really didn’t,” Hopkins said, with the beautiful Welsh countryside as a backdrop.
“I am grateful to the Academy and thank you. I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman who was taken from us far too early, and again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you,” he added.
Much of the surprise at Hopkins’ win was down to the strong field for this year’s best actor prize. Boseman was the heavy favorite to win for his final film role as Levee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Hopkins’ absence from Sunday’s ceremony was due to him visiting Wales. Given his age and the ongoing pandemic, his absence perhaps wouldn’t have caused too much controversy if the show’s producers had not switched the best actor presentation to last, in place of the more traditional best picture announcement to wrap the show.
Speculation on social media was rife that the switcheroo had been done in the event of an emotional win for Boseman. Late on Sunday, there was some social media backlash aimed at the producers for building the hype for a possible Boseman win.
At 83, Hopkins became the oldest person ever to win an acting Oscar and it was his second Academy Award from six nominations and follows his 1991 best actor prize for Silence of the Lambs.
For his performance as Anthony, an aging patriarch struggling with dementia in Florian Zeller’s The Father, Hopkins also won a BAFTA for best actor.
Hopkins hails from the small Welsh industrial town of Port Talbot, a place notable for the number of actors it has produced including Richard Burton, Michael Sheen and Rob Brydon. Altogether, Port Talbotians have scored 14 Academy Award nominations (8 for Burton and 6 for Hopkins).
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