Legendary actor Sir Anthony Hopkins just made history as the oldest-ever recipient of the Best Actor Academy Award, and the news took him quite by surprise. According to his agent, the Father star was asleep in bed during the ceremony. Given that it was 4 A.M. in Wales, where he lives–and there’s a global pandemic–it’s pretty understandable Hopkins decided to get a good night’s sleep instead of trekking out to a live remote location. Says his agent Jeremy Barber when Hopkins learned the news, “He was so happy and so grateful.”
Early on Monday morning (April 26), just a few hours after the ceremony concluded, Hopkins posted a brief acceptance speech online, expressing his shock, his gratitude, and calling out fellow nominee Chadwick Boseman, who passed away last August.
“Good morning. Here I am at my homeland in Wales 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, thank you.And 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,” said the star, standing on a picturesque hilltop.
Many have speculated that Hopkins’s win was a surprise to the producers of the Oscars ceremony, as well, given that the program, which has always ended with the awarding of Best Picture, ended on Best Actor this year. The only plausible explanation for the change seemed to be that they expected Boseman who has been posthumously winning many awards this year for his work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom–would be the winner, providing a poignant final note to the ceremony. Instead, last year’s winner and presenter, Joaquin Phoenix, accepted the award on Hopkins’s behalf.
The Father is currently available for $20 via Amazon Prime, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is on Netflix.