Hours after his bombshell Oscar victory for Best Actor for his role in “The Father,” Anthony Hopkins spoke out from his home in Wales and paid tribute to fellow nominee Chadwick Boseman, who had been widely tipped to win a posthumous honor for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
“Here I am in my homeland in Wales,” Hopkins began in a video message posted early Monday to Instagram. “And at 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award, I really didn’t. I’m very grateful to the Academy and thank you.”
The actor, who had previously won Best Actor three decades ago for playing Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs,” also gave a shout-out to Boseman, who died last August of colon cancer at age 43. “I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early,” Hopkins said. “I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored.”
Hopkins, who did not attend the Oscar ceremony on Sunday, made history as the oldest acting winner ever. The previous oldest acting winner was the late Christopher Plummer, who won his first Oscar at age 82 for his supporting role in 2010’s “Beginners.”
Hopkins was considered an upset winner since the vast majority of earlier awards shows this season had honored the Boseman for his role as a cocky but volatile blues trumpeter in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — a performance that had been heavily favored this year. This year’s other nominees were Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal“), Gary Oldman (“Mank“) and Steven Yeun (“Minari“).
“The Father” was directed by Florian Zeller and follows a Hopkins as an elderly man in the throes of dementia who refuses assistance from his daughter as he ages, but soon begins to doubt his loved ones and even his own reality. The film also stars Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss and Olivia Williams.
In addition to his Oscar wins, Hopkins has been nominated four other times — in 1994 for “The Remains of the Day” in the Best Actor category, in 1996 for “Nixon” in the Best Actor category and two supporting nominations for 1997’s “Amistad” and 2019’s “The Two Popes.”
Watch Hopkins’ video statement below.