Anthony Hopkins thanks the Academy, pays tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman

As I was getting ready to hop into bed, I saw the outrage online about Anthony Hopkins winning the Best Actor Oscar instead of the late, great Chadwick Boseman. A lot of people wanted Boseman to win a posthumous Oscar, especially since he never won an Oscar during his lifetime (despite doing several Oscar-worthy roles). I get that, I really do! It would have been an emotional moment, a final moment for Chadwick’s widow and his family. But despite the pandemic year, the Best Actor category was stacked, and I honestly feel like the Oscar could have easily gone to Chadwick, Anthony Hopkins or Riz Ahmed. In fact, I think those three men split the vote and that’s how Hopkins got the win. His performance in The Father was brutal and sad and a master class in acting, as always when it comes to Hopkins. I think that’s why Hopkins won – because this is likely the last time the Academy will have to honor Hopkins, who is 83 years old.

So why wasn’t Anthony at the Oscars? Well, as soon as he got fully vaxxed, he traveled to Wales to see visit friends and family. Tony lives full-time in Malibu but he missed seeing his old stomping ground in the pandemic, so he traveled to Wales several weeks ago. And he was asleep when he won his second Oscar.

Anthony Hopkins made history when he won the Best Actor honor at Sunday’s 93rd Academy Awards for his starring role in The Father. The only hitch? The celebrated star, 83, was asleep in bed at the time and had no idea he’d won what was the final award of the evening or that he had become a record holder as the oldest star to win an Oscar in the category.

“Tony was in Wales, where he grew up, and he was asleep at 4 in the morning when I woke him up to tell him the news,” Hopkins’ long-time agent Jeremy Barber tells PEOPLE. “He was so happy and so grateful.”

The two-time Oscar winner, who beat out fellow nominees Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Gary Oldman (Mank), and Steven Yeun (Minari), had recently returned to his native Wales.

“After a year in quarantine, and being double-vaccinated, he was finally able to return to Wales, and age 83, it was a great relief after such a difficult year,” says Barber. “But he loved the role in The Father – it’s his proudest performance – and to be the oldest living actor to win in the category means so much to him.” This was Hopkins’ sixth Oscar nomination.

[From People]

I’m glad he was asleep, he didn’t miss anything and he was able to make his speech on Instagram, because Anthony Hopkins loves social media and he’s always posting cat photos and cat videos. In the video, Hopkins paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman, saying: “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.”

Photos, video courtesy of Instagram.

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57 Responses to “Anthony Hopkins thanks the Academy, pays tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman”

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  1. Anony83 says:

    I’m sad Chadwick didn’t win but nothing the Academy could do would tarnish his remarkable legacy.

    Classy note from Anthony Hopkins too; he was clearly flummoxed that he won.

    • smcollins says:

      I agree @anony83. Yes, an Oscar win would have been the perfect “end” to a too-short stellar career, but I don’t think an Oscar win was needed to seal his legacy. His collective performances have done that and they (and him) will not be forgotten. But at the same time I understand people being disappointed and surprised, he really did seem to be the obvious win. I haven’t seen any of the nominated performances but even I thought it was a sure thing. Just goes to show that the Oscars *can* be unpredictable even when they seem completely predictable.

    • sunny says:

      Everyone in that category except Gary Oldman gave an a stunning performance. I wanted Chadwick to win for the body of his work(so much of his earlier work was unseen or underrated) but Hpkins gave what I think is the best performance of his career in “The Father” and was a deserving winner. I really wish they hadn’t moved the award til the end of night because it had me expecting to hear Chadwick’s name.

  2. BayTampaBay says:

    I think the reason Anthony Hopkins was not at the ceremony was because he did not think he had a real chance of winning.

    At the age of 83 you need to see family whenever you can (and your family needs to see you) because you might not be able to do it next week.

  3. Tiffany says:

    I really think Anthony, like everyone else, thought it was Chadwick’s to lose. And I know Frances is not everyone’s favorite person, but I think she thought that she was going to lose to Viola last night as well. Frances was marketing for Chloe and as a producer. I don’t think she was bucking for number 3.

    But at the end of the day, Academy gotta Academy and there was no way in hell the Best Actor and Actress were going to go to two Black actors in the same year.

    And don’t even get me started on how Riz and Steven and the Asian aspect.

    • dogmom says:

      I started thinking Chadwick wouldn’t win last week when all the “anonymous Oscar voter” stories started coming out and every single one of them said “I know Chadwick’s going to win so I voted for Anthony/Riz instead.”

  4. Isabella Saxon says:

    A boring sentimental choice. Oh my god. What a letdown. Riz for the actual win.

  5. Noki says:

    Very classy of Sir Hopkins,its bitter sweet Chadwick didnt win as he obviously will never get another chance however i believe this was not his best Oscar perfomance and frankly I found the acting a little too theatre for the screen.

  6. Mimi says:

    At the end of the day it’s just an award and I love how Anthony honoured Chadwick, I’ve never seen the father but I plan on it apparently Anthony was amazing in it.

    • LightPurple says:

      It is an amazing but difficult film, especially if you have been the caregiver of an elder with memory issues. The whole cast is very good but Hopkins is phenomenal.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        So difficult to watch. I still think about it.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I want to see it as its a subject close to me as my mother passed from dementia last year but am not sure I could watch it without crying – from what i’ve read he nailed the confusion and fear of sufferers and that at some point they all call out for their parents. Heartbreaking!

        Congrats to him and the rest of the cast.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Digital Unicorn, I am so sorry about your mother. I have never experienced a parent passing from dementia, but I have someone that was extremely dear to me pass from it and his wife was suffering greatly from his troubling rambles and his loss of their time together as they had become married as they were older. She kept me updated and I would cry from reading her updates as I don’t think she could verbally discuss it as the emotional aspect was too deep and upsetting. Dementia is a horrible disease and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

    • cassandra says:

      I really want to watch it, but I’ve been avoiding all difficult media. It’s been a hard year and I don’t need to make myself more sad. So, eventually…..maybe in 2022

      ETA: just read the synopsis on Wikipedia and got teary eyed. Nope.

      • manda says:

        Yes! the wikipedia synopsis was enough to me. I imagine the movie is stressful because of his confusion, and probably very tearful

      • tealily says:

        This is where I’m at too. It’s on my list, but I’m keeping things light and stupid for the moment.

      • Anne Call says:

        My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s for 6 or 7 years and the last few years were terrible. I just can’t watch that kind of emotional and physical devastation especially during this difficult year.

    • Sue says:

      @Digital Unicorn – I’m so sorry for your mom’s passing and that she had to go through dementia. And yes, I remember about a month before my grandfather (who lived with dementia for six years) died, he said to my mom and me, “I’m confused, where are my parents?” His parents had been dead for several decades. That will always be a vivid memory in my mind.
      I cannot bring myself to watch this film.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Thank you – am sad for the passing of your grandfather but both are now with their parents. At the end my mum was unable to communicate but when she was still able to speak to us she was always asking where her parents were and wanted to go back to her childhood home. I had an Aunt in that stage of dementia and it seems that the mind is reverting back to childhood or maybe on some level they are looking for that comfort of a parent. I can only imagine the fear they would have felt during those times, not understanding the world around them.

  7. grabbyhands says:

    I think the outrage had less to do with him winning it than it did that the producers had clearly intended that the show was going to end with the posthumous award to Chadwick and just guessed horribly wrong about him winning.

    That is the only reason I can come up with for the audience baiting decision to leave the best actor award for the final trophy of the evening. I enjoy Steven Soderburgh (I’m certain I just butchered his last name) and I don’t know how much of what happened last night was his call, but the show was a giant, misguided mess from beginning to end and I have no idea how any of it was approved. They finally had a historic, diverse slate of projects and people and they pretty much managed to steal the moments from all of them. Awards presented out of order, no movie clips (except for animated or foreign), no music. A In Memoriam that they sped through. And the final insult of Joaquin Phoenix speed mumbling his way through the final award to “he’s not here kthxbai”, leaving everyone scratching their heads thinking “what did I just watch and how do I get those hours back?”.

    The Academy had months of award show examples to draw inspiration from to produce an entertaining show and this is what they came up with. I don’t get it.

    • Sigmund says:

      It was a super odd ending. I honestly thought Chadwick had it in the bag, and I wonder if the producers did as well or something? It was just a really lackluster ending, made even lamer by the fact that Anthony wasn’t even there.

  8. Daisy says:

    I mean, it was always between Anthony and Chadwick. Social media was just very vocal about wanting Chadwick to win but it wasn’t an upset. It was Anthony’s best career performance (which says A LOT). It was just very unfortunate how they kept their category last because it was obvious the producers thought the result would be different. It really came across very careless. They really should start the ceremony knowing the winners to prevent stuff like this from happening (also that Moonlight x La La Land moment would’ve been avoided).

  9. paranormalgirl says:

    “The Father” was heartbreaking and Anthony Hopkins was utterly amazing in it. That movie absolutely broke me.

    • lisa says:

      it has really stayed with me mores than any current movie ive seen in several years. there is a movie called the whispers with dame Edith Evans that also stays with me in the same way. I was really blown away by both performances in a way that rarely happens

  10. Jessa says:

    I think the outrage is more for the producers of the show. They rearranged the categories banking on Chadwick’s win and creating a moment. Traditionally Renee would’ve been the one to present this category and we know she wouldn’t have something nice to say to each nominee. Joaquin didn’t do that. Plus, there were no clips of their performances so the nominees were listed and then a winner was called, The winner wasn’t there to accept, and that was the end of the show. If the show had gone in the traditional order then it would’ve ended on Nomanland big win and Frances’ howl which is a better ending than what actually happened.

    • Soupie says:

      Agreed. They took a potentially ground breaking good show and basically threw it away. Thee were a lot of good moments but recalling the thing, it’s frustrating. Irritating.

      As for Anthony Hopkins, I’m afraid to watch it because of what I went through with my mother and her frontal lobe dementia the last two years of her life. We didn’t really know it was dementia til almost the end because she had always been a difficult person so we weren’t able to really differentiate the two.

  11. Miranda says:

    Confession: I still get teary-eyed anytime someone mentions Chadwick Boseman. I really wanted him to win, but I understand why it went to Anthony Hopkins instead, and it was very kind of him to acknowledge the tragic loss.

    And if anyone would like to know Chadwick’s legacy, I have one example (which I think I shared here immediately after his death, but it’s worth repeating): When Black Panther came out, I was teaching at a school in Harlem, where my class was all Black children. They. Were. Obsessed. They memorized that movie, they reenacted it at recess, and one of my students even wore his T’challa PJs to school a couple of times. They also became fascinated with African history, forcing us teachers to do some impromptu research to feed their curiosity (and given that many of us were white, it definitely did us good to learn about it, too). It was so exciting for them to learn that, while it wasn’t exactly Wakanda, Africa was/is home to great civilizations long before European colonialism, and that their ancestors were more than just slaves. Having a Black superhero was HUGE for these kids, and I really hope Chadwick was aware that his role inspired countless Black children to learn more about their incredible ancestors and homelands. Personally, I think that’s WAY better than an Oscar.

    • MipMip says:

      @ Miranda thank you for sharing that story. I think a lot of (white) people still don’t see how remarkable Black Panther was in terms of Black representation.

    • cassandra says:

      If you read some of the behind the scenes stuff, He was very involved in character and world development for Black Panther. They originally were going to have British accents (eyeroll) and Chadwick pushed to use Xhosa and a Xhosan accent in the film. I also read that he helped develop that ICONIC line Killmonger says about being buried in the ocean with his ancestors that jumped from the ships rather than be slaves. It seems like he took the role very seriously.

      • Miranda says:

        I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of superhero movies, especially the more “serious” ones (looking at you, DC Universe). But a couple of (Black) friends insisted that I see Black Panther, and it was actually the first time I understood how and why an actor would take a role like that seriously. Also, that Killmonger line gives me chills Every. Damn. Time.

    • Deering24 says:

      BP is an instant classic–and should have won Best Picture.

  12. Sue says:

    I don’t think I could bring myself to watch “The Father” as I watched my grandfather live with dementia for six years. It was horrible to watch, horrible to lose him when he was still physically here and horrible to see how sad it made my family.
    I did watch Chadwick’s performance and it was excellent. I can see that some people might not like that it was theatre acting, but I adored that. I love how much they paid respect to the fact that it was originally a play. It was theatre acting on film but still made as a movie, not just a play that was filmed. If that makes any sense.
    I didn’t see any of the other Best Actor performances, so I can only speak to Chadwick’s.

    • sunny says:

      His performance was so good! The category was stacked this year- I cannot remember a recent year with as strong performances. Riz Ahmed was terrific in Sound of Metal and Hopkins really did give the best work of his career in The Father.

      @Sue, my grandma had dementia too when I was a child. I don’t have too many memories of it but was painful. When I tell you Hopkins’ performance took me out in The Father. It is so painful and heartbreaking to watch.

  13. Jennifer says:

    He is a treasure and what a solidly deserving win. I appreciate how he acknowledged Chadwick as well. What a class act he is.

  14. Loretta says:

    This was a well deserved win, he’s amazing and so powerful in The Father. A very heartbreaking performance.

  15. Case says:

    A well-deserved win. Personally I was pulling for a surprise win for Riz, but this is good too.

    I was way more disappointed in Best Actress. I really just don’t care for Frances McDormand and her performance in Nomadland felt like she was mostly just playing herself? It was an unremarkable movie and performance to me. Beautifully directed, but otherwise meh. I thought for sure it would be Carey or Viola and would’ve been happy with either of those wins.

  16. teecee says:

    I understand Boseman’s family and fans being disappointed in being yanked around by the Academy, but it’s such a bummer that Hopkins wasn’t allowed to enjoy his own surprise win without honoring an actor who, while he died tragically young, did not really have the body of work to back up hagiography he’s been getting. Personally, I’d place Boseman’s performance 3rd or 4th in that category, and if he were alive, he would not have been a serious contender. I suppose the argument is now we’ll never know what Boseman could do, but the same can be said of anyone who dies young.

    Anyway, Hopkins is 83, this is probably his last shot, and I hope he can bask a little. I’d rather these awards go to the people who have earned them while they are alive, than for them to be used as tribute to those who have died. Heath Ledger’s award was a tribute, and that’s why it will always have an asterisk next to it.

    • Case says:

      I totally agree with you. I honestly found Chadwick’s performance rather heavy handed and acting with a capital A. I know Ma Rainey was based on a play but I felt like nothing was done to really make it dynamic for the screen, and Chadwick’s very theatrical performance was a reflection of that. It would’ve been a Tony-winning performance on stage. Didn’t work for me in a film. Chadwick leaves an incredible legacy and served as great role model. He will forever be Black Panther for generations of children and I think that’s a more important mark to leave, honestly.

      I wanted Riz or Steven Yeun to win, I’m glad Anthony Hopkins won. Very deserving.

  17. PD says:

    Everything is not about race or religion, please travel to african countries where i am from and racism is everywhere and in north africa, people feel like subsaharien black people are less than them. Not everything is about race and religion, why do you think it is right to put little girls in full hijab, it is wrong.

  18. Eleonor says:

    Ok.
    Now I am living for Anthony Hopkins cats post on Instagram LOL

  19. sally says:

    How he treated his real life daughter is abhorrent. His irresponsibility trumps great acting in terms of importance to me. Bad parents are the pits.

    • Heat says:

      At the time, he was still un-diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum and turned to alcohol to deal with issues he didn’t understand.
      I don’t think he has ever denied the fact that he was a bad parent. Bad parents are just broken people who have children.

  20. Gab says:

    Holding that category for the end, seemingly setting up the win for Boseman, proved that the producers actually don’t know the winners until the envelope is opened.

    • Elaine Stritch says:

      I was thinking this too! And if this is your plan then why oh WHY wouldn’t they just peek at the winner that afternoon and adjust the end accordingly. There was clearly no Plan B- It was such a massive directorial flaw….

  21. Valentina says:

    I’m so so happy Anthony won. For a legendary actor who’s been giving exceptional performances during his entire career, he delivers a master class of acting in The Father. Riz Ahmed was my runner up.

  22. Monica says:

    The Best Actor misstep is second only to Trump beating Hillary in terms of upsets.

  23. A says:

    I know this wasn’t the way the Academy wanted to end this year’s show, but I am still really endeared by the fact that Anthony Hopkins got his vaccine and skipped off to Wales to be with his family. I love that he was sleeping during the Oscars, and that they had to wake him up (gently, I hope), to let him know that he won. Somehow, that is just much better as a concept than having to be there in the audience to accept the award. I think they should just do this all the time, and completely nix the awards ceremony entirely, if it ever came to it.

    I don’t know how I feel about this year’s Oscars. I liked some of the earlier wins of the evening. I didn’t watch any of the movies, but I did read the reviews, and I trust that they were well-liked and excellent movies. I love the diversity of talent that’s been nominated this year. To see Steven Yeun get an Oscar nom, after what happened w/ his character on Walking Dead (both the graphic novel and the show), in a year that has seen such a rise in hate crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans, is just really heartwarming. I hope he does even better things from here on out. Same for Chloe Zhao, and Yuh-Jung Youn. Daniel Kaluuya stole the show, and you could tell he was sincerely overwhelmed by having won the award. I know there was controversy about how both him and Lakeith Stanfield were nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but to see them both get Oscar nominations after their fantastic performances on Get Out is also just really wonderful.

    It was a good year for film, in spite of everything. I know things have changed, that the traditional experience of being a movie goer isn’t what it once was. I know people question the relevancy of the Oscars in a day and age where most people don’t seem to watch the movies that get nominated. But still. I appreciate the films that have been made this year for their content. The stories they tell are very necessary and needed, and I hope that they manage to reach a wider audience, at least after winning an Oscar.

  24. Ann says:

    I will fully admit that though I know Hopkins is a tremendous actor who has contributed to the field for decades, and I am sure he was great in The Father, I wish Chadwick would have won and it was very disappointing. If I had been a voter, it would not have been a hard decision. Hopkins has won before and Boseman will never get the chance, all those potentially great performances he will never get to give.

    Sorry, I don’t feel any satisfaction in Hopkins’ win. Maybe because I never appreciated Silence Of The Lambs either, idk.

  25. Dee Kay says:

    I’m not grieving that Chadwick Boseman didn’t get the Oscar — I’m still grieving that he isn’t here, giving us more of his amazing, brilliant performances. Awards really mean very little. What mattered — and I bet Boseman would agree — is that he did the work on this earth he came here to do, and did it very very well, and moved millions of people with his craft. That’s the only award he’ll ever need. I’m so glad he worked as much as he did, he is a star in every one of his films. Rest in Power, Mr. Boseman.

  26. ennie says:

    I watched the trailer for The Father, and was very moved, I look forward to watch this film, but I expect a cry fest on my side.
    I all make a point to watch all of Boseman’s movies I can, though.

  27. J ferber says:

    I also wish Mr. Boseman had won. How many old white British males is America expected to honor? Enough! Chadwick Boseman should have won. White men are so overrated.

  28. Imara219 says:

    People were madder that the Oscars used Chadwick for the ratings. It left a nasty bitter taste in a lot of peoples’ mouths because whether he won or not the whole thing felt self-serving to their racist cause. For example, one of the gift bag goodies was a NFT of Chadwick. A tacky-looking artistic piece that once again was exploiting Chadwick in death. They turned his death into swag that’s disgusting. The fact the Academy thought putting the emotional focus on a Chadwick win would right their wrongs does little to respect his legacy. USAToday has an article on it. Sir Anthony Hopkins may have deserved the win but the way the Academy handled the award was atrocious. On top of that, the huge disrespect given to Daniel Kaluuya after his win by a white female journalist just demonstrates how systematic racism is prevalent with these awards.