Welsh greats, there’s been a few notably Richard Burton, although he made some dud films (Exorcist 2, ew) he was rightly known for his Epics, small dramas, drinking, marriages to Elizabeth Taylor and infamously narrating Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. And not forgetting his rendition of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milkwood. Surprisingly he never got a star on Hollywood’s walk of fame which is outrageous. There’s not been a Welsh man like him since. Anthony Hopkins is extremely different – very personal, arguably unfathomable yet captivating, however, he wasn’t blessed with the leading man Hollywood looks of Burton but struck gold with the character of Hannibal Lecter (see the faces of Lecter
Over the years Hopkins has threatened retirement several times but never followed through, maybe the money draws him back being the son of a baker and coming from less than affluent Port Talbot. Incidentally it was Burton who encouraged Hopkins to become an actor and he enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff graduating in 1957. He has always had a love of music and in 1986, he released a single called ‘Distant Star’.
t would be difficult to comment on Hopkins varied and rich body of work, a star himself he has worked alongside the many of the most renowned names. Personally, for me the aptly titled Magic (filmed the year Burton was recording War of the Worlds) which in my opinion is Hopkins defining film moment, encompassing an array of balanced emotions including a creepy, mesmerizing and venerable performance, that no stage play can capture for all time. Thanks to film it’s there forever to be enjoyed. For me even though he picked up an Oscar for Silence of the Lambs it’s the aforementioned that is arguably award worthy (it sadly only picked up a Saturn and Edgar award).
Since Lambs he’s had much success although many performances appear to be Sir Hopkins picking up a pay cheque, and rightly so. Each line could easily have been replaced by “okey dokey” with equal effect. “Okey dokey Mr Hunt”; “Alexander was Great, okey dokey”, “okey dokey CGI Beowulf”; “okey dokey Mina Harker”;“okey dokey Clarice”; “okey dokey you Wolfman” and “I am Odin okey dokey Thor my son”; you get the picture.