Hannibal Hopkins & Sir Anthony (2021) - full transcript

- I like to be center stage

taking the big parts.

I'm not interested
in being worthy,

I'm not interested
in being virtuous

and standing there for
the good of the company.

I'm simply not
interested in that.

It's the way I'm constructed.

It's my own megalomaniacal
selfishness, I suppose.

I'm not interested in
all that experimentation,

and we've all got a knuckle
under and obey the director.

I say, bollocks.

- In 1991, in
The Silence of the Lambs

by Jonathan Demme,

Anthony Hopkins achieves
worldwide success,

playing a cannibalistic
psychopath imprisoned in a cage.

The most famous serial killer
of all time, Hannibal Lecter.

Even though he was on screen

for only 20 minutes
throughout the movie,

it's enough to propel him
to the top of Hollywood

at almost 60 years old,

and after more than
30 years of acting.

The biggest directors
fight over him,

like Francis Ford Coppola
who casts him in Dracula.

- Action!

- Mina!

- The thing is going
to happen pretty fast.

- Yes.
- You confront them,

they attack you,

Van Helsing challenges you,

you make your lay statement
and then you leave.

- Even Steven
Spielberg wants him

to play the president of the
United States in Amistad.

- Yeah.

- And you're coming down
with your secretary.

This was something,
you can trial this.

But this is a better location.

- Good.
- So we'll do that first.

- And have you seen the
house of the General?

- No.

- Come here, because
you're going to love this.

- 1992 is a
turning point for him.

In addition to becoming the
favorite actor of James Ivory,

it's also the year
that he is cemented

among the greatest
actors of all time

for his iconic role in
The Silence of the Lambs.

- And the Oscar goes
to Anthony Hopkins

in The Silence of The Lambs.

- I sat there that
evening in the Oscars

and Ted Tally picked up
the best screenplay writer.

And at that moment I thought,
"I think I've got the Oscar,"

and Kathy Bates came
on stage to present it

and I knew she was
going to call my name.

First of all, before I say on,

I want to say
hello to my mother.

She's in Wales watching
this on television

with Eve and Jean
and Jill and Tony.

My father died 11
years ago tonight,

so maybe he had something to
do with this as well.

And then I thought when I got
up there to take the Oscar,

I thought, "Well now I
can do some bad films,"

which I proceeded to do.

Doesn't matter really.

I touched the ceiling
of my life, I suppose.

I love the coldness of life.

I love the
inevitability of it all.

I had no friends, because I
rejected friends, I suppose.

So I was lonely.

I was a non-starter.

Very poor student.

I was convinced I was
on the wrong planet.

I think that those years
were quite formative for me.

I was escaping, I
think, from my sense

of being a kind of clodhopper.

Well, I was the source of worry.

I was the only child and
I was the source of worry

of both my parents
when I was a kid,

because I was so
stupid at school.

I mean, I haven't got
fashionable high flowing words

like, I was dyslexic,

I think I was just stupid.

And I couldn't figure out
what anyone was talking about.

And I was the lonely kid
at the top of the streets

staring at my thumbnail,

and all the other kids were down

the other end of the street.

My father used to
say to my mother,

"There's something very
wrong with this boy."

Which is not the way to
give one self-confidence,

but they were worried about me.

But in a strange way, I
had an idyllic childhood.

I remember the first
four years very clearly.

I've got one of those,
cursed and blessed

with images and a
very long memory.

I can remember back
to very early times,

probably about the age of
two, something like that.

And I remember South Wales.

I was born in the rural
part of Port Talbot,

a place called Margam.

And it really was like
the Garden of Eden.

I remember our
little front garden,

and it was really...

a couple of small trees there,

and it really was
like a mini paradise.

And I can recall,
when I close my eyes,

I can go back there and it's
all changed now, of course,

but I can, the smells
and the colors.

But when I went to school,

that was the beginning of
the turning point for me.

When I realized I was different,

backward, more slow.

And I have no regret at all,

because that was the
fire in the belly

that gave me enough
anger and rage.

My father was a pretty
boisterous, tough
old sort, really.

He was a remarkable man.

I loved him very much.

He was a baker by profession.

That's what he started.

And he took over, he was
a baker with his father.

Good God.

Believe it or not
I lived in here.

It's just like in my dreams.


Maybe it's a symbol
of my own ruined life.

I don't know.

And I remember that sometimes,

the yellow look in his
face around the gills,

and the sweat.

And he'd say, "Oh God."

And he'd do that, and I remember
that God, he's worked hard.

Yeah, I think that's why
I get angry sometimes.

- Do you think of
your father often now?

- All the time.

- Yes.

- And as I get older,
he's becoming me.

I'm him.

I remember I used to
play the piano a lot.

I was a little
artist, you could say.

I used to play Beethoven
and all that stuff,

and Chopin, and all that.

And he was a baker,

and he used to ask me to come
and help him in the shop.

Carry the cakes into the
shop during school holidays.

Well I'd sort of get distracted.

And I remember sitting
at the top of the house

where this piano was,

and I remember him coming out,

and "For God sakes," he'd say,

"I asked you to take those
donuts into the shop."

"What the hell are
you doing up here?"

I was playing the piano.

"So what's that you're playing?"

I remember him
standing in the doorway

and he had flour dust
in the hair on his arms.

Really hard worker.

He said, "What are you playing?"

I said, "Beethoven."

He said, "No wonder you
went deaf."

I don't know what my
role in the world is.

I came out here many years ago

because I wanted to be
in movies, be an actor.

I was a bad boy.

I couldn't stand
the British theater.

I couldn't stand any of it,

because I didn't feel
I belonged there.

Nobody's fault.

I just didn't have it in my
nature to be part of that group.

So I reinvented my life,

and I came out here
some years ago,

and you see the result of it.

I'm pretty feisty.

I am rebellious and happy.

And so I want to
give back to people.

Not because I'm on a
crusade, far from it.

I just do this because I've
got nothing better to do.

They give me a cup of coffee
and some fruit in the morning.

So it keeps me off the streets,

keeps me out of trouble,

and I get some fun doing it.

These pretty
beautiful girls here.

Women, women.

- They're beautiful.

I get hugs from them all.

It's very nice.

- Some of the men
hug me as well.

But it's lovely to
see them opening up,

and if that's their response,
then that makes me happy.

- In 1965,
after five years on stage

in Cardiff and then in London,

he is noticed by the legendary
playwright and actor,

Sir Laurence Olivier,

who invites him to join him
in the Royal National Theatre.

Hopkins becomes his understudy
and eventually replaces him.

In his memoir, Laurence
Olivier writes,

"An exceptionally promising
young actor from the company,

named Anthony Hopkins,
replaced me and played my role

as a cat with a mouse
between its teeth."

- Yeah, when I started out
I just wanted to be famous.

I didn't want to
become a great actor.

I didn't want to become a
great Shakespearean actor.

I had no idea.

When people would say,
"You're the next Olivier."

I didn't want to become
the next Olivier.

I didn't want to stand
in wrinkled tights

on The Old Vic stage
for the rest of my life.

I had ideas beyond that.

I was discontent, I
was angry and fed up.

And I hated being part
of an establishment

and hated doing Shakespeare.

It was all my own making.

I was the enemy
within, you know?

It was all my own making.

It was nobody else's fault.

Everyone did their best
to cater to my needs.

- Were you
drinking at that time?

- Oh yes, but all actors drink.

That was just an
episode in my life,

that's over and done with now.

That's a boring episode of life.

But I don't think it helped,

but I was restless.

I wanted to get out,
and I was frightened.

I was afraid I was taking
on this monumental part,

and I never pretended
that I had the courage

to do these great parts
like Macbeth and King Lear.

I never said I could do them.

I never thought I had
the courage to do them.

I wanted it all.

I wanted to be successful,

and I wanted to be famous,

and I wanted to be in movies.

And I wanted to meet people
like Katharine Hepburn,

and I want to meet
Peter O'Toole,

and I met Peter O'Toole,

and I've met some great people,

some wonderful directors,
some wonderful actors.

Would you say, Father, that
I have the makings of a king?

- Splendid king.

- Would you expect me, Father,
to give up without a fight?

- Of course you'll fight.

I raised you to.

- I don't care what
you offer Phillip,

I don't care what
plans you make,

I'll have the Aquitaine
and Alais and the crown,

I'll not give up one
to get the other.

I won't trade off
Alais or Aquitaine

to that walking pustule!

No, your loving son will not.

I remember the first few days
on the set of Lion in Winter,

and I'd done a movie
test with Peter O'Toole

a few weeks before.

And he was on the test with me

reading off lines
off the camera,

And I remember
them saying, "Cut!"

And O'Toole saying,
"You've got it. Fantastic."

Bloody marvelous darling.

I'm a big star.

"Let's go and have a drink."

See, I love those
guys, the drinkers,

because they were the best.

I love them, I love drunks.

I love that.

And Peter's a great boozer.

I had to give it up

because it nearly damn
killed me in the end.

But I remember that sensation

of, "Oh yeah, that'd
be marvelous."

But you have to have a
certain vulnerability

and to be a certain
amount of mess inside you.

I think to really succeed, you
have to be really screwed up

to be successful
in this business.

- What did you
learn from Katharine Hepburn?

What did you learn from
Hepburn in that movie?

- She said to me, she said,

"Don't act, don't act,
just speak the lines.

Be what you are."

I was playing Richard
the Lionheart.

She knew.

She said, "You look good.
You've got a good head.

You've got a good
shoulders on you."

She said, "You've got
all the advantages,

so don't act, don't overact."

She said, "Don't be theatrical."

I said, "Well what do I do?"

She said, "Speak the lines."

Which sounds very simplistic,
but I think she was right.

She's talking about filmmaking.

Don't overact.

Don't show too much.

We could tangle spiders
on the webs you weave.

- If I'm so devious,
why don't you go?

Don't stand there
quivering in limbo.

Love me, little
lamb, or leave me.

- You were influenced
by the movies,

weren't you, the actors?

We all were.

- I was brought up on movies.

I have a nice, my parents
were quite disciplined.

I used to go to a movie once
a week, or twice a week,

but I used to watch

all those old Warner
Brothers movies,

Bogart and all that lot.

- Yeah, yeah.

- And I used to
learn the script.

- You could?

- I knew you were
going to ask me this.

You want me to do one?

- Speak the script, yeah.

- Well, okay.

- But you remember
those scripts?

- Yes.

My name is Spade, Sam Spade.

License number 357896,

issued by the police
department of San Francisco.

Occupation private detective,

sometimes known as private eye.

- Well done!

- That's Bogart.

- As close to Lauren
Bacall as I've ever heard.

Very nice.

It's just another facet of your-

- Yeah, very slick
going up for life.

I'll tell you about it.

So it's not bad is it?

- Yeah, it's good, and you
remember the lines definitely.

- Yes, I remember the lines

I learned all that
before I came on here.

I knew you were going to ask me.

- For God's sake, don't let
them know all the secrets.

- I wasn't born here.

- Yeah

- At age 37,
Anthony Hopkins decides

to leave England and try
his luck in Hollywood.

He starts another
chapter of his life,

following the example
of Humphrey Bogart,

James Cagney, and Marlon Brando.

This chapter is undoubtedly
the most intense.

Anthony Hopkins, still
grapples with a demon

that will not let go, alcohol.

His lack of self-confidence
and his discomfort,

as he often says,
encourages his drinking.

Hollywood would be his hell,

and then later, his redemption.

- Well, I found tequila
when I came here

and I drunk enough of
that to unzip my brain

and drive me crazy,

and then I woke up
and came to my senses.

I thought, "Well, I'm
going to blow it all

if I don't stop
doing this nonsense."

I was trouble, I know.

I was just a bore really.

And I couldn't fit in, and
I just didn't feel at home.

And that was my problem.

I'm just bad tempered,
trying too much and all that.

And it all came to
a bit of a crisis,

and I walked out.

I left in the middle
of a production,

which was a very
drastic thing to do.

I hurt a few people,

but it's the only way
I knew how to survive

whatever I was going through.

And so I got out.

And I was in work, I started
work fairly soon after that.

I suppose I went through a
sort of, not a breakdown,

but I just felt very
unhappy and unsettled,

and I had no sense of
self-confidence at all.

It's not I fear death
or the end of it all,

but I am aware of it.

I'm 57 years of age,

and I want to have the richest
years of my life ahead of me.

And I plan to, and I'm going to.

When I first came to California,
out here in Santa Monica,

it was like being
on another planet.

I thought they were
different race of people.

Everyone in those days
looked very glamorous,

and I thought they were
all tall blonde girls

and good looking guys.

I like the shallowness
of it all in a way.

Jonathan Miller said to
me when he came out here,

He said, "How can you live here?

It's like living on the moon."

I said, "Well, it's all right.

I like it here."

There's a lovely time in
the evening, like now,

when it feels very,
very peaceful and
it just feels right.

I carry that feeling
around with me

most of my time now,

It's that thing where it just
feels right inside, you know?

No contention, no argument,

no fighting, no belligerence.

- For him, California
becomes another planet,

one on which he lives with his
second wife, Jennifer Lynton,

who he met in England
while she was working

as a production assistant.

There, Anthony Hopkins left
his first wife Petronella,

and the child they had
together, his daughter, Abigail.

America for Hopkins is the
world of possibilities.

Luck smiles on him, when in
'78, Richard Attenborough

offers him a key
role in his career,

as a mad ventriloquist in
the little known film, Magic.

- You ruined the rising aces.

- So what, screw it.

You see the broad
with the big jugs?

- You mean the young
lady in the feathers?

Yeah I see her, so what?

- Wonder if she'd like a
roll in the shavings with me?

- I don't think
you're very funny.

- Well they do.

- What about the vent
though, first of all,

how difficult is it to
throw your voice like that

without moving your
lips as they say?

- Well I found it fairly easy,
maybe because I'm an actor

and you have to keep
your voice flexible,

and I was willing to learn.

And I decided that the
only way I could do it

was to enjoy it.

And I've been a mimic as well,

so I found it fairly easy,
and I had a good teacher.

Now, maybe I was a good student.

- Can you still do it?

- Yes

- Like what?

- Yes I can,

Hi, Michael.

How are you doing?

Good to see you.

Hi gang, you okay?


- Hey you know what I think?

- No, what do you think?

- We're going to be a star!

- I find that acting has been

tremendously therapeutic for me.

So I think if I
hadn't been an actor,

I probably would have been,

I don't know if I'd have
been slightly criminal,

but I don't think I would have
been a very nice human being.

I don't think I would have,

I think I would have
eaten myself alive,

and acting has saved
me from that in a way.

It's helped me to touch
parts of my own personality,

I suppose, of my
own inner darkness.

- Darkness,
monsters, prejudice,

violence, humanity,

in 1980 with the film,
The Elephant Man,

in his role as Doctor Treves,

who tries to come to
the aid of John Hurt,

the famous man-elephant.

Anthony Hopkins puts on
his Hollywood star clothes.

On set, the relationship
between David Lynch

and Hopkins is
appalling, but it works.

The film is a masterpiece,

and will forever remain
one of his greatest roles.

- Basically, it's a
very touching story

about a man called John Merrick,

who was so seriously deformed.

I don't know what the
nature of his disease was,

but he had a very large head,

and the one side of his
body totally deformed.

And he was a sideshow freak.

And he was cruelly beaten
and treated very badly.

He was born like this.

- And the part I play
is Dr. Frederick Treves.

And Treves found him in the
circus, in the sideshow,

and took him back to the London
hospital and kept him there.

But John Merrick could speak,

and he could read,
and he could write,

and he became a centerpiece
for society in London.

This is about the 1880s.

- Mr. Merrick, I'd like
you to meet my wife, Anne.

Anne, this is John Merrick.

- I'm very pleased to
meet you, Mr. Merrick.

- I...


I very...

- It's when Jonathan Demme
sees David Lynch's film,

that he considers
Anthony Hopkins for

The Silence of the Lambs.

This is the role
of a serial killer,

a machiavellian cannibal.

No one has heard of the
script in Hollywood,

but Hopkins quickly realizes
the potential of such a role

and starts shaping
the character.

Slicked black hair, glassy
eyes, and a straight jacket.

The mask is made for him.

- I didn't want
to play the evils,

because if you're
playing a madman,

if you play the
madness, it's ludicrous.

How do you play madness?

So I opted for playing the
really super sane side of him,

the highly civilized
section of Hannibal's mind.

And then all the
evil that he is,

is there for the audience to
make up for their own minds.

Good evening, Clarice.

- I thought you might like
your drawings back, doctor.

Just until you get your view.

- How very thoughtful.

Or did Jack Crawford send
you for one last wheedle

before you're both
booted off the case?

- No, I came
because I wanted to.

- People will say we're in love.

- Let me talk about some
of the specifics of that,

well there's the noise you
make, that .

- Oh yeah.

- Yeah.

Now that presumably
wasn't written,

that must've come from
you, I would have thought,

or was that Jonathan
Demme's idea?

- That happened on the
spur of the moment.

I just put it in for a joke.

Because you heard
Jonathan Demme laugh,

quietly so he didn't
destroy the soundtrack.

And I just did it,
it just came to me.

And I heard him say,
"God," in the corner,

he was watching the camera,

he was on the monitor,
watching the film.

And he said, "Cut."

He says, "You are
so sick, Hopkins."

I said, "Was it over the top?"

He said, "Yeah," he
said, "But I like it."

So we kept it in.

- It's
with his hissing noise

that Anthony Hopkins
chills the blood

of an entire generation,

and earns his stripes as
Hollywood's greatest psychopath.

- Five, five, nine.

- The first to pay
the price is Jodie Foster,

who still remembers it in 2016
on The Graham Norton Show.

- Is it true, did you never
speak to Anthony Hopkins?

- Nope.

Never spoke to him.

He was scary.

The first day we had a reading,

we had like a
little read-through.

I got there early, and then
I went to the bathroom,

and I came back, everybody
was sitting down.

We did the read-through
of the film,

and by the end of it, I never
wanted to talk to him again.

I was petrified.

- But you never passed
backstage in a corridor?

- No, I avoided him.

I really avoided him.

And then I was eating
a tuna fish sandwich.

It was the last day, and
he came up to me, and he...

I guess he was sidled up to me.

And I said, I don't know, I
sort of had a tear in my eye.

I was like, "I was
really scared of you."

And he said, "I
was scared of you!"

- May I ask your credentials?

- And
by the time that we got

into our scenes together,

he was behind this
glass partition

and he had to be unscrewed
out of the glass partition

in order for us to communicate.

- Closer please.


- There were a few
things that he added in

that for some reason, just
sent shivers up my spine.

There's one moment where
Lecter is going on at Clarice,

and saying, "You're
just a rube,"

and, "You're some
small-town hick."

And he started
mimicking my accent,

and that just really upset me.

I guess as an actor,
I got really...

it really took me off guard,

to have the actor
who's playing opposite

of you start
mimicking the accent

that you're using as an actor.

And he got to me.

And I think it really
shows on screen actually.

- You know what you
look like to me,

with your good bag
and your cheap shoes?

You look like a rube.

A well-scrubbed, hustling
rube with a little taste.

Good nutrition's given
you some length of bone,

but you're not more
than one generation

from poor white trash,
are you, Agent Starling?

And that accent you've tried
so desperately to shed,

pure West Virginia.

What is your father, dear?

Is he a coal miner?

Does he stink of the land?

And oh, how quickly
the boys found you.

All those tedious,
sticky fumblings

in the back seats of cars,

while you could only
dream of getting out,

getting anywhere,

getting all the way to the FBI.

I understand monsters.

I understand tyrants.

I understand madmen.

I don't know what it is,

I have a sympathy with
them, in a strange way.

I can understand what
makes people tick

in these darker levels.

- Jesus Christ!

- Ow, ow, ow.

- Hello.

So here we are at the
Universal Studios.

This is Dino De
Laurentiis' production.

So we're going into
the original set

that we have on
Silence of the Lambs.

Where it's re-built.


So this is the return
to the original set,

the jail where they
lock Dr. Lecter up.

It's funny being back here.

We started filming
here last week,

and this is the corridor that
Jodie Foster walked down.

So here we are back
like old times.

I can't take any of
this too seriously.

I can't take it
seriously at all.

Anyway, it's fun.

It's all a game.

And these are the cells.

And this is where...

This was Lecter's cell.

So it is odd, to say the least,

to be back here.

- March 30th,
1992 is Oscar night.

Sometime earlier,
the film's director,

Jonathan Demme told reporters,

"We created Hollywood's
greatest villain

since Norman Bates in Psycho."

So when MC Billy
Crystal enters the stage

wearing the Hannibal
Lecter mask,

Hopkins realizes that
whatever the verdict,

his interpretation
of a fearsomely
intelligent psychopath

is now legendary,

and that it has propelled him
to the ranks of the greatest.

- His competitors
in the best actor category

are Warren Beatty,
Robert De Niro,

Nick Nolte, and Robin Williams.

Hopkins would later say that
the evening was life changing,

and that he finally
felt legitimate

and accepted in this world
that was not meant for him.

- I'm having some of the
academy over for dinner.

Care to join me?

- Yes, anytime.

- Anytime.

Good evening.

- Welcome, live at the
St. James's Club LA,

cuddly cannibal,
Anthony Hopkins.

- Anthony, welcome
and congratulations.

- Thank you, Terry.

- Well, one of the reasons
that I'm interviewing you

so far away, is because quite
frankly, after that movie,

I'm fairly apprehensive of you,

and I imagine that most people

wouldn't really want to
sit beside you at dinner.

Would they?

- No, they all get up and leave.

When I go into a restaurant,
people just get up and leave.

No, people don't respond
in any different way.

I tell them I'm a vegetarian.

- With an
Oscar in his pocket,

Anthony Hopkins becomes
one of Hollywood's

highest paid actors.

In 1992, Francis Ford Coppola

offers him the role of the
vampire hunter in Dracula,

an adaptation of the
Bram Stoker novel.

Scar on his face,
crucifix in hand,

Anthony Hopkins
is in his element.

Alongside Gary Oldman
as Count Dracula,

Winona Ryder, and Keanu Reeves,

Anthony Hopkins immerses himself

in the obsessive filming and
rehearsals imposed by Coppola,

a man known to push his
actors to their limits.

- Let's
stop the presses.

- We don't
have to change it.

We don't have to print it out.

- No but we should.

You have all these reasons,

every time we pin it down,

it's another nail
out of my coffin.

- We were up in Napa where
we started rehearsing

at his home, this
big sound stage.

And he said, "I want us to read

the whole book together, aloud."

It took two days.

And he said, "because
I want us to absorb,

all of us, to absorb the book."

It was a marathon
to read that book.

I don't have an analytical mind.

I'm not a very bright
or intellectual man.

So I have a good instinct.

And my theory, for
what it's worth,

is to know the text so
well, the script so well,

because the word is powerful.

That's all I have to do.

That's all I'm capable of doing.

I used to have a neurosis
about not learning lines

and not being able
to remember texts.

One of my actor's
nightmares is to show up

and not know the lines.

So maybe I overcompensate, but
I find that by learning it,

it gives me a sense
of ease and confidence

to walk on the set or the
stage of wherever I'm doing,

and know that I know,
that I know how to do it.

Well, that was a very
confined movie to be on

because Francis Ford Coppola,

brilliant director as he
is, he's a great controller.

He controls everything.

So you don't get much choice.

And I fought for my
choice to make Van Helsing

like an insane madman,

wanted him to be this
uproarious rebel,

and seer, and bad man.

I had a scar, he fought a
duel and all that stuff.

And so I concocted it myself,
I don't know how it came out.

Jesus, God, I command you
in the name of Christ!



And I had to take out
some rather

- In 1992,
there's a change of scenery

and a decisive encounter
in Anthony Hopkins career.

He joins the filming
of Howards End,

a period film directed
by James Ivory.

This film will mark
the beginning of
their collaboration,

which will continue with
The Remains of the Day,

and Surviving Picasso.

That's what I like

about working in film.

You just go along with it.

The more relaxed you are,
I think the easier it is.

And I like it this way
because it's effortless.

I learn the lines very very
well, and very methodically.

So that I can improvise,

and make them sound
real on each take.

Scene 59F, Take 1.

- So I don't have that
sweat or that tension,

by not knowing the lines.

My relationship to
directors has changed.

I used to fight
them, now I don't.

I think that they do
the best they can,

and I do the best I can.

We seem to get on fine now,

which is a great
new change for me.

My dear Helen, I
grieve for your clerk.

I really do.

But it is all part of
the battle of life.

- The battle of life?

- Yes.

- A man who had
little money, has less.

Owing to us.

- Oh come, come.

Anyway, you're not to blame.

No one is to blame.

- No one?

Oh is no one to blame for it?

- I didn't say that.

You take things
far too seriously.

My dear Helen, I
grieve for your clerk.

I really do.

But it is all part of
the battle of life.

- The battle of life?

- Yes.

- A man who had little
money, has less.

Owing to us.

- Oh come, come.

You're not to blame.

No one is to blame.

- No one?

Is no one to blame for anything?

- I didn't say that.

You take things
far too seriously.

- How did you get a
handle on the character

you played in that?

- It was the mustache did it.

- Oh?

- Yeah.

So I went to the makeup
room and they said,

"Would you wear a
mustache in this?"

I said, "Well, I
haven't grown one, no."

She said, "Well, I've
got one for you."

I said, "Okay, well
let's put it on."

I put it on, and I
said, "There's the man."

And it made me feel
like my grandfather,

my father's father, he
was a strict Victorian.

And I looked in the mirror,
and I thought, "That's him."

And it did something to my eyes,

it did something to my face,

it give it a sort of edge.

And it made my eyes stand out.

I thought this man
is a ruthless man,

and he's a tough man,

and I could see him
in the dark suit.

So I didn't have to do
much work on top of that.

There is Henry Wilcox.


I call it the mask, and it
doesn't even have to be makeup.

It can be a pair of shoes,
or it can be a jacket.

And I remember
Remains of the Day,

my first day was
wearing a rain coat.

Because it was raining,
and getting into a car,

and then turning
up on the location,

and I looked in the mirror
and it was my own grandfather

looking back at me.

He used to wear a coat like
that and a green felt hat.

And I looked, and I
thought, "That's him,"

and I felt everything
transform inside me slightly,

and it all came to life.

You must take good care
of yourself Mrs. Benn.

- You too, Mr. Stevens,
promise me that.

- Oh yes, I promise.

You must try to do all you can

to make these years happy ones

for yourself and
for your husband.

I don't know why I play
those repressed men.

Maybe I am like
that, I don't know.

I'm pretty shy.

I'm not very gregarious.

I'm not gregarious at all
really, I have very few friends,

but I'm happy in my way.

I like to be on my own a lot.

I'm married, and have a
wife, and a few friends,

but I prefer my own
company most of the time.

So maybe that's why they cast
me in these strange parts.

- Anthony Hopkins
and Emma Thompson reunite

in James Ivory's The
Remains of the Day,

a year after Howards End.

In this film, they play a
butler and a housekeeper

caught in a silent,
romantic relationship

subject to the weight
of conventions.

Here, Hopkins slips into the
skin of the most introverted,

subtle, and almost ghostly
character of his career.

- I'm invading your
private time. Am I?

- Yes.

- What's in that book?

Come on, let me see.

Or are you protecting me?

Is that what you're doing?

Would I be shocked?

- Anthony Hopkins is
the perfect repressed

English gentleman, because
he has all the niceties

on the outside, you know?

He knows how to be presentable,

and how to bring tea properly,

and yet you never
feel a coldness.

You always feel that underneath,

there's this terrifically
warm, big, beautiful heart

that yearns to come out.

And that's when those
movies really work,

when those very sort of
prissy English characters

aren't just what they
are on the outside,

but that you can intuit

that inside is somebody
who's really yearning

to get beyond this
Victorian repression.

- I read these books.

Any books to develop my command

and knowledge of the
English language.

I read to further my
education, Miss Kenton.

- But there were a few
things you do in Howards End,

which struck me as being
not only brilliant,

and very moving,

but also, I can't imagine
they were in the script.

In particular, the character
you play, Mr. Wilcox.

- Yeah.

- There are two events in
the movie when he's talking

about something
shameful in his past,

and both times he does not
wish to be looked upon.

He doesn't want to make
eye contact with his wife.

He kind of hides his face away.

Do you remember those ones?

- Oh, I did that.

- Yeah.

- So you were that
woman's lover?

- To put it with your
usual delicacy, yes, I was.

- When?

When, please?

- 10 years ago!

I'm sorry, 10 years ago.

I don't know, maybe I'd seen
it in a movie somewhere.

I think Charles Laughton did
it in Hunchback of Notre Dame

or something, he hid his face.

It may have been...

Yeah, I think it was that.

Maybe I stole it.

It's a good piece to steal.

He's, "How ugly I
am," and he put his...

I think I stole that.

- It's
a wonderful moment,

and it really breaks
through as well because-

- Oh, and then
he breaks down doesn't he,

at the end?

- At
the end he does, yeah.

- He couldn't
bear to be seen crying.

Yes, showing of emotion.

I'm sorry.

I think that's why I
have a lot in common

with these characters.

I don't like bearing
emotion much.

Maybe it's a British thing,
maybe it's a male thing.

But I don't like it.

I don't like displays
of tears and, you know.

- But I don't feel
like an actor.

I don't know what
the hell an actor is.

I feel like I'm a member of
the circus most of the time.

You travel around the world.

You travel around,
you arrive in cities,

and arrive on locations, do
the job and then go home.

As I get older, I just feel
that's all I do is a job.

It's nothing more, nothing less.

It happens to be
well-paid and it's public.

And I have my father's attitude.

It's like my father
is inside me now.

The more I see photographs
of myself sometimes,

and I look just like my father.

And he's alive and
well in me, I think.

I have his attitudes, his
values, and all the rest of it.

He had a tough life

and I've had a very easy
life, comparatively.

Actually, I have a
very easy life, period.

I'm just one of those
very fortunate ones.

I tend to be very
unpredictable and moody.

See, I go into a situation and
say, "Oh hi there. Mm-hmm."

You know, I want to be liked.

So I go into a movie
set or to a new play,

whatever, and I'm Mr.
Friendly, Mr. Nice guy

because I want to be liked.

I want to be
pleasant to everyone.

And then suddenly
somebody steps on my toes,

and I go off like a firecracker.

- Got to see him on a
couple of cranky days,

when Sir Tony would turn cranky

and that was good fun,
very entertaining.

And I'm telling you
when Tony's cranky,

the Red Sea parts.

In fact, forget Moses,
if I was casting God,

I would cast Sir Tony.

Sir Anthony Hopkins,
because he has a force.

It's a romantic fantasy

I have of the loner,
the lone wolf who...

the lone person who
doesn't need any affection.

That's part of my
life, actually.

I think I can do very well
without affection and love.

It doesn't bode well for
a good life, a full life,

but I am capable of
withdrawing from people

and closing myself off.

Maybe it's a form of martyrdom.

I used to turn
savagely on people.

I'd get rid of people,
get rid of friends

and they'd wonder
what had happened.

And then recently, over
the last year, I guess,

something changed in me,

and I thought life's too
short to do all this.

I have a few friends,

and I'm very lucky to
have them in my life.

Really lucky.

Because they see me walking
straight into the jaws of hell,

because I am naive.

I am easily taken in by people,

and that's my main
fault, I guess.

My main defect is
that I'm very naive.

I'm told that I have a
nature which is complex.

I don't feel complex actually,
I feel quite a simpleton.

- Anthony
Hopkins grew up thinking

he wasn't worth much.

A withdrawn child without
any particular talent.

In Port Talbot, Wales,
people called him, "Dumbo".

Although he never
intended to get revenge,

he manages to find a
place in a Hollywood

that likes to
pigeonhole its actors.

He draws his strength and talent

from not fitting into any mold.

He proves it again,
when Oliver Stone,

against all expectations
chooses him,

the most English
actor in Hollywood

to play the typical
American by changing again.

But this time, in the
role of President Nixon.

- He was scared shitless

because, "How can I be Nixon?

They're going to
see me as a fraud."

You're Welsh,
you're not English.

You're Welsh, there's
a big difference.

And I said, "You're
halfway there already.

You're in the Atlantic anyway.

You're not far."

I said, "There's
something in your spirit,

which is obstinate, stubborn,

and yet has a great
misunderstood quality."

- I've got to keep fighting,
Buddy, for the country.

These people running
things, the elite.

They're just soft
chicken-shit faggots.

They don't have the
long-term vision anymore.

They just want to cover
their ass, and meet girls,

and tear each other down.

Oh God, this country's in deep,
deep, deep trouble, Buddy.

Got into the
psychology of the man.

I understood his paranoia.

I understood his
loneliness, his terrors,

his bleakness of life,
and the lies he told.

He was caught in a
morass of such lies.

And I felt sorry for him because
he was always the outsider.

When they look at you, they
see what they want to be.

When they look at me,
they see what they are.

Well I had no illusions I
was going to be Cary Grant

or Robert Redford.

And any moment that they tried
to do something like that

or someone said, "This is a..."

That sort of part to give me,

I knew I was what they would
call a "character actor."

Bly, I was always very chunky.

I'm not a leading man actor.

I'm not Brad Pitt, or Robert
Redford, or Tom Cruise.

Those are leading movie stars.

I'm not a movie star,
I'm a movie actor.

- And it's in
Meet Joe Black in 1998,

that the actor completely
changes his register.

Playing a billionaire
at the end of his life,

opposite Brad Pitt,
who incarnates death

coming to take him
on his last trip.

- The question.

- Am I going to die?

- Yes.

- This is the
second time that the two actors

meet on a movie set, four
years after starring together

in Legends of the Fall.

There isn't an actor on one
side and a star on the other,

but rather two generations
that mirror each other.

Their duo makes this film,

which is often
underestimated by critics,

an astonishing allegory
on life and death.

- Who am I?

- Death.

- How would I want
to be remembered?

I certainly don't want any
longer to be remembered

as that nice guy, you know?

The guy who does the Tommy
Cooper jokes anymore.

I don't want to be that anymore.

I don't really give a damn.

Should I be afraid?

- Not a man like you.

- We should
bring in a better light.

- In 2001,
he returns to the cell

that made him an icon.

10 years after The
Silence of The Lambs,

Anthony Hopkins puts on the
Hannibal Lecter mask again,

and plays in the two other
films in the trilogy,

Hannibal and Red Dragon.

- I did have some misgivings
about doing this third one

because I thought,
"Well I've done it now.

So I can't get any more
mileage out of it,"

because it becomes
boring and tedious.

And I thought, "Well, it
wouldn't harm to do one more,"

as long as I'm more of a
background figure, I think.

More of a shadowy figure.

I can't go on hitting the
bullseye all the time.

You're going to
make some bad films,

and I made a number
of bad films.

I made probably on one
hand, maybe four good films.

Most of the ones
have been mediocre.

I am a terrible liar, you
see, I'll tell my agent,

"Yeah, I've read the script."

And then I wake up after
they've committed me

and I say, "God almighty."

I did that recently on the
thing called Bad Company.

I thought, "What the hell
have I done this for?"

But I tend to do that
because I'm stupid,

or greedy, or impatient.

And I think if I
don't say, "Yes,"

they'll give it
to somebody else.

Those are my motives.

That's what a
refined actor I am,

how I've planned my career.

- Anthony
Hopkins spends the 2000s

moving from set to set.

He has a series of blockbusters,

such as Thor and Transformers,

but he returns to
what he does best

in the biopic Hitchcock,

in which he brings the famous
English suspense genius,

Sir Alfred Hitchcock to life.

The film highlights the
influence of his wife, Alma,

played by Helen Mirren,
on the master's work.

- Just think of the shock value.

Killing off your leading
lady halfway through.

I mean you are intrigued,
are you not my dear?

Come on, admit it.

Admit it.

- Actually I think
it's a huge mistake.

You shouldn't wait
until halfway through,

kill her off after 30 minutes.

- Well.

- Fortunately,
Hitchcock listened to his wife

and killed his heroin
after more than 30 minutes.

Today, the shower scene is
recognized as a classic.

- More, more!

- No.

- Use some guts!

- C'mon!

- Ow, ow.

- No, more anger!

- Ow.

- All right, cut, cut, cut!

For god's sake, would someone
get me a proper stunt double?

Now give me the knife.

Like this!

Ungovernable rage!

Homicidal violence!

- You've never
really done anything

as good as Psycho, have you?

- Psycho?

Should I tell you that story?

Yeah, somebody asked me
for my autograph once,

and I went up and
signed this autograph

and she said, "You
don't look anything

like you did in Psycho."

- Is it in just the
name, Hopkins, Perkins?

- Hopkins, Perkins,
I think they get...

I promise you, I
was down in Bristol.

I was filming with
Lesley Ann Down.

The assistant director said,
"The station master's wife

would love to see you.

She's a great fan of yours."

I said, "Oh, show me the way."

So, we went in and I thought,
"Well, where is she?"

And she said, "Oh,
you don't look

anything like you
did in Psycho."

So, I ripped her curtains off

and stabbed her with my biro.

- You signed the
name Anthony Perkins.

- That's right.

- So anyone who says
"It's lonely at the top,"

either needs a good psychiatrist
or a kick in the ass.

It's nice being successful.

It's good.

It's very, very good.

Fucking good, yeah.

I enjoy it.

I have a good life.

I have a lot of fun, no
regrets, no complaints.

If it all ended
tomorrow, so be it.

I've had a good time.

I was very surprised
by the knighthood.

Very, very surprised,
very honored.

I didn't know what had...

My wife phoned me up
while I was down in Bath,

doing Remains of the Day.

She phoned me, she said, "You've
been given a knighthood."

I said, "What for?"

She said, "I don't know."

And I said, I didn't know.

I was quite speechless
for many days.

Of course, I was
sworn to secrecy.

You're not supposed
to tell anyone.

But it was, I mean,
it's a great honor

and I try to wear it as
comfortably as I can.

If people call me Mr. Hopkins
instead of Sir Anthony,

I don't have a conniption fit.

I'm very happy
with what everyone,

In America, they
say "Sir Hopkins."

Oh, I say, "Just call me Tony,"

because they get
it all wrong there.

But it's very, very, very nice.

- I've been asked to write a
biography, an autobiography,

and I haven't a clue,
and I keep doing it,

and I keep deleting it
all from the computer.

Because I look at it,

and I thought, "What am I
writing all this stuff for?"

Because I don't want
to go back to the past.

I don't want to go back
and examine my childhood.

I had a perfectly
fine childhood.

I had a confused school
career, but that was all,

I mean nothing really
untoward has happened to me.

I drank a bit too much,
stopped doing that,

and then my life really
started to take flower then.

I get out in the
morning, out of bed,

and you know, I'm getting old.

And as I get out of bed,
"Oh, dear God, right move!"

I get up, and I think,
"Right. I'm alive.

Life's in Session. It's
not a rehearsal. Move,"

and that's what I do.

And now I can make
some bad films,

and it doesn't matter anymore.

I don't have to prove it.

It's like all
those little doubts

that started way back
when I was a child.

It's like a voice
inside me says,

"See you weren't that dumb.
You were just different."