30 years ago, Anthony Hopkins terrified us all. He composed a character for film history, the Hannibal Lecter from The silence of the lambs with which he managed to make us feel attracted by absolute evil, by someone who eats the livers of his victims accompanied by beans and a good chianti. Hopkins is one of those actors who is even capable of changing his body in some way to adapt to each role. Something in his physiognomy changes with each character. There is nothing of Lecter in his butler from The Remains of the Day, nor in his transformation into Ratzinger in The two Popes.
At the age of 83, the British actor has done it again in El padre -which is now expanding his presence in theaters where he has been since December-, where he offers one of the most devastating performances in recent years. A character named after him and with whom he shares his date of birth in a reality and fiction game. Su Anthony is an Alzheimer’s patient who sees his life change. We see it through their eyes, and it all turns into something akin to a thriller. Faces change, bodies change, and we can only feel astonishment at what we cannot understand.
His body changes with every frame. We see in his eyes the passage from lucidity to darkness in a second, and one understands that it is one of the Oscar favorites for a role that could fall into excess and that he controls with a masterful hand in the film of Florian Zeller which is up for six Academy Awards. An award that only has, precisely, for The silence of the lambs. It is surprising that with such fine, precise and complex work, the actor says that “it was easy”, but this is how he described it in a meeting with a handful of journalists where EL ESPAÑOL was.
“My work was easy, the script was so good, it was so well written, and we had an excellent director and a wonderful cast… Don’t think twice, the only obvious thing is in the pages of the script, in those lines, my work was just following those words, the directions on the map, I didn’t think too much about it “, he explains with his partner, Olivia Colman, who plays his daughter and who also opts for the Oscar for a role that he chose for one reason: to work with Hopkins.
Hopkins built his character as someone who had always been in control and who for the first time loses it, and he confesses that he remembered a lot about his own father. “I remember when he was dying, he became irritable. He had a very bad mood, and especially with me and my mother. He didn’t even want us to touch him. ‘Leave me alone, leave me alone,’ he would say. It was very painful, but I finally understood what I was going through, ”he explains.
For me this movie, I don’t like to say that it has changed my life, but in some way it has had an impact. Understand that none of us are free
For him it was a lesson in the inevitability of death. “In the movie, when Olivia leaves me in the hospital, forever, I realized that none of us are completely free, because there is no escape, life is over and it is our destiny. When my father died I looked at him in bed and thought: it will happen to me too. You are going to die, you are not special. Neither is. For me this movie, I don’t like to say that it has changed my life, but in some way it has had an impact. Understanding that none of us are free has given me a feeling of freedom, because I told myself, you have to enjoy. We don’t know what will happen next. We have no idea if we are going to get hit by a car or have a heart attack, and somehow that wonderful feeling of knowing that you are insignificant is liberating. “
For Anthony Hopkins, this film also has a new reading with everything that has happened to us. He himself has been very active in networks during the confinement, but he admits that it has been very hard, and that in some way he is assimilated to the dementia that his character suffers. “Everyone has experienced isolation in this confinement, and I think it may have a parallel with dementia, with this man locked in his environment, in his apartment, where he only hears the traffic but does not even know where he is. We’ve been home for a year, and the isolation drives you crazy. There are many cases of depression, and even suicide, and it is a tragedy. Especially for the younger ones, who can’t go anywhere, not even to school. It’s painful ”, ditch.
If Hopkins achieved that well-deserved Oscar, he would become the oldest actor to win the lead actor award. I would, besides just 30 years after that Dr. Lecter. With a radically different role, but with an irrefutable proof that he is one of the best actors in recent film history.
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Anthony Hopkins: “It is liberating to know that deep down we are all insignificant”