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Why didn't Anthony Hopkins attend Oscar 2021? Fans joke he doesn't 'have a clue' he won after he skips speech

The 83-year-old legend is now the oldest actor to have won an Oscar, however, he decided not to give a speech after his Best Actor win
UPDATED APR 26, 2021
Anthony Hopkins gave the Oscars a miss after winning Best Actor for 'The Father' (Getty Images)
Anthony Hopkins gave the Oscars a miss after winning Best Actor for 'The Father' (Getty Images)

In the light of the pandemic, the 2021 Oscars saw a much smaller audience, making it a far more intimate ceremony. With 'Nomadland' bagging multiple awards, including Best Actress, Best Director and Best Picture, all eyes were on Best Actor, which happened to be the last award of the night. It was won by Anthony Hopkins for his role in 'The Father'.

Netizens were arguably confused because among the nominees for this category was Chadwick Boseman, who was expected to win for his performance in 'Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom'. Apart from this, the fact that Hopkins was not present to collect his award, resulting in presenter Joaquin Phoenix accepting it on behalf of the Academy, has fans even more confused.


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Anthony Hopkins attends 'The Two Popes' premiere during AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 18, 2019, in Hollywood, California (Getty Images)

There has been no mention or official statement as to why the actor skipped the award ceremony altogether. However, as reported by Vanity Fair, the actor has been maintaining a low profile throughout the award season, even though his performance has bagged a BAFTA as well as other awards. Not only did he not pick up his award, but his acceptance speech which was to be delivered in his honor by Olivia Colman did not take place either.

In light of the positive critical response to his work in 'the Father', Hopkins had this to say: "I’m not going to be ultra-modest about this: You have to know how to turn on that electricity. And I know how to switch it on. I’ve been doing it for a long time," he told The New York Times in November. Hopkin's recent win at age 83 now makes him the oldest actor to have won an Oscar. 

Anthony Hopkins, speaks onstage during The Dresser panel as part of the Starz portion of This is Cable 2016 Television Critics Association Winter Tour (Getty Images)

What is 'The Father' about?

The synopsis of the movie reads: "All Bimbo ever wanted was to be a father to his children and a husband to his wife, but providence has a different plan altogether." The movie was written and directed by Florian Zeller and is based on his play 'Le Père'. Hopkins plays the role of a man suffering from dementia. Although a dark and difficult topic, the actor praised the script for his performance, "It was an easy part to play," he said, while talking to The New York Times. "Because it was such a good script."

Has Hopkins won an Oscar before?

Although the veteran actor has been nominated six times before, he has won only once, back in 1992 for his bone-chilling performance as Hannibal Lector in 'Silence of the Lambs'. His iconic performance helped him bag the Oscar for Best Actor.

Anthony Hopkins at the 'The Two Popes' premiere during AFI FEST 2019 (Getty Images)

Although his performance in 'The Father' has been a critically acclaimed one, fans felt conflicted by the win. This is because Chadwick Boseman, who tragically succumbed to cancer last year, was the frontrunner in the category and many believed that he would win the award posthumously. 

"Anthony Hopkins is without fault. Class-act and brilliant performance in The Father. Truly, he, Boseman, and Ahmed were all neck and neck for me. Fault is on the Oscar producers who, for ratings, needlessly made the loss of an icon even harder on those anticipating his honor," tweeted a fan. "Anthony Hopkins has done nothing for y’all to tweet nasty things at him, besides the academy is the one who chose, leave the poor man alone," added another. "Anthony Hopkins' performance in THE FATHER is just phenomenal & breath-taking, Sir Anthony has been gracing the screens and theaters for decades, this was a tour-de-force. I also want to take a moment to celebrate Chadwick Boseman and his role in Ma Rainey. Legends. #Oscars" said a fan.

"Be angry at the Oscars, but please don’t be angry at Anthony Hopkins. He gave a great performance as well, and it wasn’t his fault that the Academy structured the show in such a nasty way," added another. "YES leave anthony hopkins alone wtf people really out here saying "oh they gave it to someone who didn't even attend" the man is 83? you want him to fly OVERSEAS in a PANDEMIC??? i was honestly surprised they had a venue lol i was expecting a fully virtual show blame the academy!" argued a fan. 

One joked, "Soo true! Just like his actual character in Father he won’t have a clue of what has happened and won’t care either."



Twitter was also quick to joke about just how uncomfortable Joaquin Phoenix seemed while announcing the winner. "Joaquin Phoenix after having to announce that a dead Chadwick Boseman lost his award to an absent Anthony Hopkins," tweeted a user. "the way Joaquin Phoenix looked like he wanted to rip the envelope on the floor and walk away when he read it wasn’t Chadwick," added another. "Joaquin Phoenix: “And the Oscar goes to... Anthony Hopkins GOOD NIGHT EVERYONE!” Everyone," said a user.