Anthony Hopkins talks about his role in Oscar-nominated ‘The Father’

Anthony Hopkins, who makes 30 years he won the Oscar for one of the most iconic characters in film history, the Hannibal Lecter from The silence of the inocents, stands out again in the awards, because this Monday it was announced that his 83 years is one of the contenders in the category of best Actor.

The father is the tape – also nominated in the section of Best film – with which the actor of Welsh origin could repeat statuette; there he interprets a man suffering from senile dementia. It should be noted that in this production, the actress Olivia Colman plays the role of her daughter.

Life is absurd, it’s ridiculous, we take everything too seriously“says Hopkins during a distance interview.” I try to cultivate the art of indifference, not in a sense of coldness, but that the things that a few years ago I thought important now do not seem so to me, we are all going to die and that is the blackest and funniest joke. “

The father is the debut feature of the French writer and playwright Florian Zeller. His great discovery is that he places the viewer in the mind of the patient, makes him experience his confusion, his anger, his fear.

Hopkins recalls that when he read the script he felt something similar to what happened to him The silence of the inocents: He knew instantly that he wanted to do it. “I met with Florian and said yes, but I had pending the filming of The two popes (along with Jonathan Pryce and the direction of Fernando Meirelles) and I was really worried that they would not wait for me, but they did, “he says.

In the case of Hannibal LecterHopkins recalls that when he started reading the script, he asked his agent if the deal was already closed. “He said no and I didn’t want to read any more until I knew, because he was the best character I could have ever dreamed of.“.

He says that to keep his brain active he plays the piano, paints, or memorizes poems from Dylan ThomasBut when it comes to talking about his merits as an actor or uncovering the secrets of some of the most legendary scenes of his career, he insists on downplaying it.

Acting does not require being a genius or a great intellectual effort, there will be people who are interested in making it look like that, but no, “he defends.

“In The silence of the inocents, Jodie came with a coffee in hand, we would stare at each other through a glass wall and we would drop the text. It is done. Sometimes we still meet to eat together and we talk about how fun this way of making a living is“.

According to Zeller, Hopkins is an instinctive actor. “I’m just old“, replies the interpreter,” I have been active for many years so I know some tricks; The Stanislavski method is wonderful and I practiced it when I was young, but now it is more common sense than anything else. “

“When you reach 83, I don’t know if you’re smarter or stupider, but you certainly don’t waste time thinking too much about yourself,” he adds. “When it comes to acting, I just do it and that’s it, and with an actress like Olivia, a wonderful director and a good script like this, that’s the most important thing, “he adds.

However, at another point in the interview he confesses that when they were filming, between takes, he would stand in front of a mirror and repeat to himself: ‘This is just a game okay? I don’t suffer from dementia, I’m acting, I’m acting‘.

You have to be careful with the message that you transfer to your subconscious because it can be believed“, he explains.” I remind my brain, when it tells me that my memory is failing or that I’m getting older, I say no, that I’m still young and strong And the brain believes it, it really works. “

He also does not practice looking back too much. “My past seems like a dream to me, I feel like I can’t take responsibility for anything, nOr I know why I became an actor, I don’t remember I tend to think that everything has been a solipsism, that my parents never existed, they are only memories. “

His father died more than 40 years ago from heart disease. “He was in the hospital and I knew he was dying, that he was not going to leave, but suddenly you see yourself making strange promises; I told him that when he left I would take him on a car trip from New York to Los Angeles and a few days later I went to see him and he was sitting there with a road map of the United States, so happy. “

It’s painful when you know they’re dying but I guess the only thing you can do is reassure them and let them know you’re there. “, he maintains.

His mother passed away years later. “My wife Stella was with her and to reassure her she told her that when she got to the other side she would meet her husband again. My mother, who was not very religious, replied: ‘Will it be very expensive?’ He had a great sense of humor at the end. ”


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Anthony Hopkins talks about his role in Oscar-nominated ‘The Father’