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‘Where are the awards for people who save lives?’: Anthony Hopkins reflects on Oscar win

06 Sep 2021 3 minute read
Anthony Hopkins/ Picture by Elena Torre (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Anthony Hopkins asked where the awards are for people who have “saved lives”, while reflecting on his Oscar success.

The Welsh Hollywood actor from Port Talbot said that “awards are fun” but added that “in the end it’s all meaningless” during an interview with GQ magazine.

He argued that nurses, surgeons, doctors and caregivers should receive awards, and suggested that actors “know nothing”.

Hopkins, 83, who won his second Oscar this year for his portrayal in The Father of a man suffering from dementia, was given the 2021 Legend Award by the men’s magazine.

He said: “Yeah, it’s fun, but finally nothing matters. And so I was asleep when the Oscar was announced. But they didn’t come and arrest me! So what?

“So I wasn’t prepared to fly to Los Angeles to sit like this [motions applauding], clapping while someone else won. I mean, awards are fun. They’re fun. Go on the red carpet [makes snoring noise]. But in the end it’s all meaningless.

“What about the nurses and the surgeons and the doctors in hospitals and the caregivers? Where are their awards? They saved lives. We know nothing, actors, all of us. We think we’re smart. No.

“You look at people working so hard, serving in restaurants. Those are the heroes. They’re working to maintain our whole grid system. Cleaning our garbage off the streets. Do we give them medals? And that’s where my anger is now.”


When asked if his ego was something he still had to keep in check at the age of 83, he said: “Of course. When people start saying good things about you – great actor and all that stuff – of course.

“When you start believing that, well, that’s OK, there’s nothing wrong in believing in yourself and self-worth, but you have to check it every so often.

“You’re just a human being that happens to be an actor in a public sort of job, [you’re] no different from anyone else. And what I am very conscious of, and I don’t mean it in a self-conscious ‘Ah, shucks’ way, is realising every day that I’m not making the movie.

“The camera guy, the sound engineer, lighting, DP, the props, the make-up people, the producers, director: they’re making the film. The guys there at four in the morning unloading the trucks are making the movie. I’m not.”

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