Quotes

 

Quotes
About Tony
Richard Attenborough
Anthony Hopkins is "unquestionably the greatest actor of his generation."
(Unknown)

"Tony has this extraordinary ability to make you believe when you hear him that it is the very first time he has ever said that line. Its an incredible gift." (Unknown)

Mel Brooks
"Tony is so powerful in his understating: his muted colors are better than everybody's primary colors. For me, he's the Beethoven of acting - profoundly creative and brilliantly orchestrated."  (Unknown)
Francis Ford Coppola
On the energy Anthony Hopkins exudes: "It's a form of madness, I'm sure ... It's very, very arresting."
(Lear's/12.1993)
Dino De Laurentiis
"He's (Hopkins) a great actor. Tony, you're a great human being"  (73rd Academy Awards broadcast/March 25, 2001)
Martha De Laurentiis
"Anthony's voice, the way he says any line of dialogue from Lecter, it sends chills to everyone."  (Wicked/Spring 2001)

"He consumes the role (Lecter). (About) a month before we started shooting. Anthony called up Thomas Harris in Ford because he needed some advice. Thomas had never met him before, or talked to him on the phone, which is quite astonishing after this amount of time. But Thomas told me that he got a call from Anthony, and he was so spooked that he was quick with Tony on the phone. I don't even know what the exchange was, but he said, 'I had to hang up. I was so spooked.' Thomas lives with these characters, and to hear his Lecter was unbelievable." (Wicked/Spring 2001)

John Dexter
"Tony is giving a performance which I think would impress you .... totally disciplined and deeply moving," wrote to Olivier about Hopkins performance in Equus . 
(Lear's/12.1993)
Julian Fellowes
"They (the theatrical establishment) saw him as a piece of culturally acceptable Welsh beefcake, like a showgirl who could just run on and do her magic, when really he's a very clever man." 
(Lear's/12.1993)
Jodie Foster
"There's not a mean-minded or manipulative bone in his body. He's the kind of person who really listens when you tell a story, and that's a pretty rare thing in this business. And he laughs from the bottom of his belly when you say something that touches his funny bone."  (Lear's/12.1993)
Morgan Freeman
"I learned that less is more," from Hopkins, whom he costarred with in "Amistad" (Philadelphia Inquirer/4.29.2001)
Sir Peter Hall (directed AH in Antony & Cleopatra)
"He is very unbridled. He has this extraordinary animal instinct which is entirely without inhibition." 
(Lear's/12.1993)

"He does have a chip about not being a, quote, intellectual. So he pretends to be anti-intellectual. But he loves poetry, loves verse, loves words."   (Lear's/12.1993)

"He works on instinct rather than on form, on emotion rather than reason. That's why he's so variable."  (Lear's/12.1993)

"He has an engaging childlike quality. A kind of naivete, an openness, a delivering of self." (Lear's/12.1993)

"Success, in terms of public adulation, matters much more to Tony than he lets on. We all get hurt by criticism, but he gets very hurt. I suspect that if the doorkeeper said, 'There is a lady here last night who didn't like your Lear,' that's enough to make him want to leave the theater for good."  (Lear's/12.1993)

"When he gets to Heaven and they say, 'You did well.' he'll say, 'No, I didn't.'"  (Lear's/12.1993)

Jenni Hopkins (his wife)
"Tony was then exactly as he is today ... a seething mass of contradictions -- almost impossible to understand, very easy to love."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"Tony is a magical man most of the time -- impossible and difficult at other times. He loves in his own way."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"Tony is inclined to make light of the work (acting). But it is completely consuming -- the roles do take him over."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

James Ivory
"He is one of those actors - and they are rare - who can convincingly portray a man of genius." (Unknown)

"He is a tremendously sensitive actor. It shows in everything he does, his facial expressions, the way he speaks, the way he moves his hands." (Lear's/12.1993)

One of Hopkins' rare qualities is his way of "just getting on with the work. With most big male stars you have to put up with the ego thing, their need to oppress other people in order to prove their own importance. With Anthony there's none of that nonsense." (Lear's/12.1993)

Lorraine Jamison (screenwriter & film unit publicist)
"He was incredibly kind. He insisted on shaking hands with everyone behind the scenes. And this was 1991, the year of 'The Silence of the Lambs,' the year of the Oscar. He was the most impressive star we (the Montreal World Film Festival) ever had." (Montreal Gazette/08.18.2001)
Francine Kay (screenwriter and friend)
"Tony's just got the most amazing mind."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)
Ismail Merchant
"He is a chameleon. He can become Chinese, Japanese, anything."  
(Lear's/12.1993)
Julianne Moore (two-time costar)
"Tony is so relaxed and casual, that's the great thing about him, what you see is what you get - and what you get is great."   (Unknown)

"Tony is a tremendous actor. He's one of the best actors in the world. And he's a great human being. I think he could do anything. It's so much fun to be around him and a privilege to watch him work. He has a marvelous mind, a great imagination, and he really connects when you work with him. He's so dependable as an actor. He makes everything easier because he is so talented." (Wicked/Spring 2001)

Laurence Olivier
"He walked away with the part of Edgar like a cat with a mouse between his teeth," said of Hopkins who went on four times for Olivier in The Dance of Death. 
(Lear's/12.1993)
Julia Roberts
"Anthony Hopkins is so...I'd just give it right up! It wasn't until I met him that I was utterly sold. This huge energy just pours off him - it was like he lassoed me, reeled me in."  (Unknown)

"I would pay to work with Tony. He's incredibly sexy. He's the ultimate package. And forget the voice, the eyes."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"It's as if he thinks the thoughts of Picasso or Nixon, his face transforms into Picasso or Nixon. It's just the best party trick I've ever seen. It's amazing."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"Watching Anthony Hopkins do Jack Nicholson, at dinner? It's like, 'Okay, I'm done, I've seen it all.'"  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

Chris Rock ("Black Sheep" co-star)
"No, no, Anthony's real cool, man."  (Entertainment Tonight interview/August 2001)

"He just happens to have this accent that makes him see way more proper than he really is. He's kind of like David Crosby or something. He's really normal. He's not telling us how to drink our tea."  (Premiere/September 2001)

Steven Spielberg
"That eye contact with the audience (in The Silence of the Lambs) is probably the scariest thing any of us has ever witnessed from a character without prosthetic makeup, scary pointed teeth and contact lenses."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"We never went over three takes" when filming "Amistad."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

Oliver Stone
"Out of all the great actors, he has a strong element of doubt in his make-up, and that doubt is what gives him some of his margin of greatness."  (Unknown)

"Mr. Hopkins is an amazing performer. Every gesture and emotion you can read on his face. He allows you in. He is in a class by himself ..."  (Unknown)

"The movie (Nixon) is a little empathic in that (Anthony) Hopkins, being able to suggest so much with his face, allows us to feel emotions that we did not necessarily feel toward Nixon at that time."  (Interview/Jan. 1996)

Emma Thompson (two-time costar)
Anthony Hopkins has "I'm-not-ever-going-to-tell-you-what-I'm-thinking eyes."
(Lear's/12.1993)

"Underneath that icy blue gaze you can see the flames."  (Lear's/12.1993)

"We laugh a lot. We have terrible giggling fits. We have to bite the furniture, or each other, to stop. I can't tell you what we laugh about, it's really too rude."  (Lear's/12.1993)

"He is one of the kindest people I've ever met. Courteous, gentle, welcoming to newcomers."  (Lear's/12.1993)

Debra Winger
"He has a delicious ability to play. He is so close to that part of himself that is a child. There is an innocence. He sees the novelty in life: He wants all of it." 
(TV Guide/2.9.2001)
Anton Yelchin ("Hearts in Atlantis" co-star)
"When I first met (Hopkins) I was so nervous, my eye kept twitching. But then I calmed down because he was so nice."  (Premiere/September 2001)
Catherine Zeta-Jones
"Tony doesn't believe in causing anybody to be stressed out."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"The fact that Tony hasn't got an ego is the sexiest thing in the world."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

 

Tony on ...
Life
"Life's all one big jest, a game. You learn to play it and have some fun with it. That's what I do."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"When I'm here on my own (his L.A. home), I feel very peaceful, very strong."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I don't feel any tension. It's a peace of mind, senility, whatever -- a coming to terms with life. And it's the best time of my life."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I'm very privileged and lucky to be here, but my father is alive and well in me -- and he cuts through all that kind of laciness and frills. I can't stand that stuff. I mean, I sound like a really intolerant bigot, but if people want to live like that, that's fine. Just don't ask me to do it. I don't want any part of it because it's all too much, that artsy fartsy stuff."  (Online Planet Hollywood.com Q&A/02.08.2001)

"One of my greatest pleasures is overcoming obstacles, mastering a piece of music, conquering parts of my own personality."  (Lear's/12.1993)

"I have grasped the idea that we are here for a short time. And we must enjoy it to the fullest." (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

Acting, career choices, fame & fortune
"We live in the age of hit-and-run movies - screaming directors, screaming producers, all action - and it's so mindlessly boring. But this (Hearts in Atlantis) is a very touching story. I like these small, well-contained, beautiful films."   (Premiere/September 2001)

"Through aggression and ambition I drove myself to become an actor."  (unknown)

"I became an actor because I was useless at everything else. Acting's wonderful. I've had a great life."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I seem to have cornered the market on playing disturbed people." (Parade Magazine/04.26.1992)

"Acting isn't brain surgery. It's not curing diseases, it's a movie. It's nothing, it's absolutely nothing. It's meaningless."  (Online Planet Hollywood.com Q&A/02.08.2001)

"You know, hanging out with actors is the last thing in the world I want to do because I don't want to discuss it. There's nothing to talk about, but acting does beat working for a living!"  (Online Planet Hollywood.com Q&A/02.08.2001)

"I love it (acting) much more now because I'm more detached from it all. It's a game. I'm just happier now doing what I do."  (Online Planet Hollywood.com Q&A/02.08.2001)

"But I still get that puzzled feeling inside me when people say nice things about me, or pay me compliments. I can't believe it, the way they talk about me." (Online Planet Hollywood.com Q&A/02.08.2001)

"As long as its a nice location, and the script is good, I don't wonder if its a good career move and all that bull. It's a job, point me to the camera, that's it." (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"Acting's entertainment. It's not brain surgery."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I just think, 'You show me the script, show me the camera, and I'll stand in front of it and deliver my lines when it's ready.' That's how I approach working. I don't get excited anymore. When I was younger I used to. But now I don't anymore. But now I don't mind anymore. I mind my own business. It's just like plumbing or any other job."  (Cinescape/Jan-Feb 2001)

"You have to have some fun. It isn't brain surgery. People who take it as brain surgery or as important as finding a cure for a disease are crazy. Acting is acting. It's well-paid. It's easy."  (Cinescape/Jan-Feb 2001)

"I knew where I was going and how to get there. But even then I was in a bit of a mess. I was drinking too much." (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

"I learn the lines, show up and do it. It's (acting) easy..." (Unknown)

"I was at ease onstage and finally felt some confidence in myself. But what really inspired me was meeting Richard Burton." (Parade Magazine/03.10.1996)

"There he (Richard Burton) was, shaving with an electric razor. I had never seen one, I couldn't believe it was the same man I'd seen in 'The Robe.' I knew I wanted to get out of Wales. I wanted to become famous." (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"And I became an actor because ... I really wanted to escape from my own limitations. And becoming an actor was the best thing I could have done, because it gave me a life."  (Online Planet Hollywood.com Q&A/02.08.2001)

"People think I'm a classical actor. I'm not. I'm a beach bum really." (Unknown)

"If someone had said 10 years ago I'd be on a Hollywood soundstage I would have said, 'You belong on a funny farm.'" (Unknown)

"It's a bit of a gamble doing a sequel (Hannibal). I don't want to think about it. I learn my lines, show up, make sure the check's in the mail." (Time/01.29.2001)

"I have to smile, because I'm so fortunate. I don't know how I got here. I haven't a clue." (Time/01.29.2001)

"It has always been my philosophy to ask for nothing, expect nothing, but take everything. I'm actually just grateful that I reached this age, let alone to have arrived with so many incredible honors in tow." (Unknown)

"I can't stand that (pretentious colleagues). Nobody's allowed to talk or joke because they're doing great art. Biggest crock of all, that is."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I wanted to be really good at this business. I didn't want to be a failure. I didn't want to be third-rate. I didn't want to be hanging around some ghastly little dustbin theater for the rest of my life with a road map on my face, full of bitterness and anger and despair. I want what I wanted. I wanted to be exactly where I am now."  (Lear's/12.1993)

"I knew where I was going and how to get there. But even then I was in a bit of a mess. I was drinking too much." (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

"I didn't want to sit around the theater for the rest of my life. It was boring. I wanted to be like (Peter) O'Toole, Richard Burton, Albert Finney. They did theater and movies. I admired them."  (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

His alcoholism
"I sobered up, cleaned up my act; fortunately I survived."
(Time/01.29.2001)

"There were performances I don't remember." (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I was a damned nuisance." (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I thought, 'This is crazy.' I simply stopped drinking. It took three minutes." (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"Anyone who's so ambitious and so drawn to such a competitive business, there's an addiction to excitement. You drink booze because it's a wonderful tool --either on the high end or just to take the edge off. I loved the booze."   (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

"It (drinking) brought up all of my melancholy or depression. I wasn't very pleasant to be with. I was pretty obnoxious."  (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

"I used to be smashed on tequila most nights after the show (Equus). I was out of the dressing room and sitting in the bar before the audience got there. Looking back, I'm surprised I survived."  (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

"I'm not proud of it (going onstage drunk); I tried to resist it. But sometimes I'd have that tequila, and I'd go onstage, and everything was about five beats behind."  (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

"I didn't stop (drinking) for acting. I didn't care if I acted again. I wanted to find a piece of gold in myself. A spark of morality. I sobered up, and it saved me -- probably because it happened before I hit the wave of fame." (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

His schooldays & childhood
"I actually believed I was genetically maladjusted. This has stayed with me, although to a lesser extent, all my life. The feeling that there is something wrong with me, that I've got a missing gene that hasn't allowed me to learn another language or finish anything. I just wanted to be off this bloody planet..."
(Unknown)

"I had no friends. All I did was play the piano or sketch or go to the cinema. But most of all I just daydreamed." (Parade Magazine/03.10.1996)

"I wasn't very bright in school, I was slow." (Online Planet Hollywood.com Q&A/02.08.2001)

Working in the National Theatre
"I used to hear Judi (Dench) speaking that verse (Antony and Cleopatra) and think, 'What the f--- am I doing here? I'm a baker's son. I'm out of my depth.' To me hell would be a wet Wednesday afternoon in the Old Vic for the rest of eternity, standing onstage in wrinkled tights doing Shakespeare. I hated every minute of it. I loathed it."
(People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I felt shackled forever to respectability. I wanted to get my cowboy boots on. I had an itch. But I just kept thinking, 'Oh well, you've settled ... You've settled for King Lear." (Lear's/12.1993)

"I've never felt at home in the British theater. I'm just temperamentally unsuited to it all." (Lear's/12.1993)

"The routine into getting it all. Getting into the theater. Getting your dressing room key from the front desk. Sitting down. The dresser coming in with your clothes. All that sweaty misery. ... In the theater, people talk. Talk, talk until the cows come home about journeys of discovery and about what Hazlitt thought of a line of Shakespeare. I can't stand it. I mean I hate it."  (Lear's/12.1993)

"I wasn't afraid of anything. The acting had covered up the loneliness. I had fierce courage. A few weeks after I got there, I marched into the production office and said, 'Who do you have to sleep with to get parts at this place? I don't just want to carry spears in an Olivier production.'" (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

His personal life
"I am a good provider but was never much of a husband. I did the very best I could to live a domestic life. I simply cannot do it. ... I don't want to sound like a damaged man. I'm in very good shape."
(People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"When I get too close to someone, I want to move on. Jenni says, 'You're a strange man. You don't seem to need anything.' I don't." (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I don't feel ready -- or any desire -- for any commitment. I've hurt enough people." (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

"I am not good at relationships. I'm a man meant to be alone. My wife is such a good woman. She deserves better than me. I wouldn't touch me." (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

Potpourri
"I love a scary movie. Like Hitchcock. Or watching cliffhangers, like The Fugitive and you do sit there, and it makes your toes curl. But it's not you going through it. Just like you might think it would be amusing to have lunch with Hannibal Lecter, as long as you're not lunch! Because he's cultured, witty, clever, and all that."
(Online Planet Hollywood.com Q&A/02.08.2001)

About lawmakers in Washington concerned about violence in movies: "They're hysterical."  (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

Working on "The Lion in Winter" was "a baptism by fire.(Peter) O'Toole was a powerful presence. And (Katharine) Hepburn was generous. She told me, 'Don't act. Just speak the lines. And watch Spencer Tracy movies.'"  (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

On Laurence Olivier: "He was a grand guy, a great autocrat but not an elitist. He looked out for everyone." (People Magazine/02.12.2001)

On Steven Spielberg: He's "a great director. He's very creative. Constantly watching everything you do." (TV Guide/2.9.2001)

"I'm a fan. I see Warren Beatty or Jeff Bridges across a room, and I wave, and they wave, and it's all great fun. I met Dustin Hoffman the other day, and I was really excited. I hope I never lose that." (Parade Magazine/04.26.1992)

*

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Sir Anthony Hopkins - Eyes of the Storm
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