Sir Anthony Hopkins becomes oldest recipient of best actor Bafta

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Anita Singh
·2 min read
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 Anthony Hopkins - Michael Hickey/WireImage
Anthony Hopkins - Michael Hickey/WireImage

Sir Anthony Hopkins became the oldest recipient of the best actor Bafta on Sunday night, but gave the ceremony a miss because he did not think he would win.

The 83-year-old had been invited to attend the event via Zoom, along with all the other nominees, but was notable by his absence.

Instead, he was painting in his hotel room in Wales, where he had just arrived for a holiday. His family informed him of his win, for his performance as a dementia patient in The Father.

“I heard this cheer next door. I thought, ‘What’s happening? Are they watching a football match?’” Sir Anthony said. He then received a message of congratulations from the film’s director, Florian Zeller.

He had equipped Zeller with a short note to read out in the event of his win.

Clockwise from left: Phoebe Dynevor, James McAvoy, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Anna Kendrick and, centre, Renee Zellweger, before the ceremony
Clockwise from left: Phoebe Dynevor, James McAvoy, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Anna Kendrick and, centre, Renee Zellweger, before the ceremony

Sir Anthony’s spokesperson told The Telegraph that the actor was “elated” by the award but had not expected it.

“He arrived yesterday and was very jet lagged and didn’t think he would win. Once he did, we were able to get hold of him,” the spokesperson said.

The Bafta was Sir Anthony’s third, after The Remains of the Day (1994) and The Silence of the Lambs (1992). He also received the Bafta Fellowship in 2008.

Show stoppers: Biggest BAFTA winners of the night
Show stoppers: Biggest BAFTA winners of the night

“It’s wonderful. I’m at a time in my life where I never expected to get this. There was a point in my life where I wondered if I’d ever work again,” he joked. “For me, this is a bonus.”

Sir Anthony lives in California but said he was beginning a “long vacation” in his native Wales.

“It’s been a tough year for everyone so we took a holiday. We had our vaccinations, so we’re in Wales having a quiet time,” he said.

Read more: For once, the Baftas lived up to their name by honouring our blossoming British talent