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Hannibal Lecter, master, prankster

“Just grateful I’m alive and they’re still giving me jobs”: Actor Anthony Hopkins has a great sense of humor. © Livingston/Getty/AFP

Sir Anthony Hopkins is admired for his masterful portrayals of such important figures as Pablo Picasso, Alfred Hitchcock, Pope Benedict and Richard Nixon and feared for his cold portrayal of the psychopathic killer Hannibal Lecter. It’s amazing how relaxed and funny the two-time Academy Award winner, who turns 85 on New Year’s Eve, appears on social media.

Hopkins posts hot dance videos on Instagram, still showing off her flexible hip swings, salsa steps, or rap moves. In mid-December, Hopkins showed himself to his nearly four million followers at the grand piano with a sample of his classical composition, which he also played on “The Popes”. He commented on the video, “With love… It’s Sunday and I feel good.” In his accounts, Hopkins defines himself as “an artist, painter, composer, and actor in film, theater, and television.” “Age does not define me. At 84 I still think outside the box,” the star wrote in July. His philosophy: deal with things, but without fear, because you have nothing to lose.

The acting legend fought hard for this self-confidence. The son of a family of bakers in Wales, he has long suffered from insecurity. At school he was considered a loner due to his penchant for drawing and playing the piano.

In 1961 he was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In the theatre, he was able to establish a reputation as a versatile actor – he was on stage alone as “King Lear” several times.

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But he was also considered difficult and unpredictable, and often tangled with directors. Two broken marriages, runs to alcohol – in interviews he spoke openly about past life dramas.

The role of a killer made him world famous

Hopkins, who has moved between his homeland and California since the 1970s, has made more than a hundred film and television appearances in his long career. The role of a killer made him world famous. He could only be seen on screen for 16 minutes in the psychological thriller The Silence of the Lambs, but that was enough. The duel between psychopath Hannibal Lecter and steadfast FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) wrote the history of the movie. Hopkins won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992 for his role in Horror.

The scope of the British filmography is colossal: for him, the role of the obedient butler in the drama “The Remains of the Day” (1993) was one of his main films. Oliver Stone put him in front of the camera in 1995 as United States President Richard Nixon. With a bushy gray beard, Hopkins transformed himself into Odin, the father of the gods, in Thor (2011). In Hitchcock (2012) he took the form of his legendary colleague, Alfred Hitchcock.

In the Netflix production The Two Popes (2019), Hopkins played Pope Benedict XVI. and Jonathan Pryce as the future Pope Francis. A year later, Hopkins starred in the dementia drama “The Father” as a proud and headstrong man who has clearly succumbed to his dementia. With the sensitive portrayal directed by Florian Zeller, Hopkins won his second Oscar for Best Actor in 2021.

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The Briton, who has married Colombian-born Stella Arroyove for the third time since 2003, is apparently not thinking about the end of his career. Along with the dramas “Armageddon Time” and “The Son,” he was seen in two films this year in supporting roles.

“I’m thankful that I’m alive and that they’re still giving me jobs,” Hopkins said in a November interview. The star quipped, “It keeps me out of trouble, doesn’t it?”