Last night, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony ended with both a surprise. Although the late Chadwick Boseman had been receiving many posthumous honors throughout awards season for his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the award for Best Actor ended up going to Anthony Hopkins for his turn in The Father. Unfortunately, Hopkins wasn’t even present for the ceremony, virtually or live. But now the Silence of the Lambs star has delivered a belated acceptance speech, paying tribute to Boseman in the process.
Anthony Hopkins Oscars Acceptance Speech
The speech was originally posted on Instagram with a caption that read, “Thank you to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Sony Pictures Classics, Florian Zeller, UTA, Jeremy Barber, Christine Crais, Mitch Smelkinson, Juan Miguel Arias, my wife, Stella, and family.”
Hopkins seems genuinely surprised and touched about winning Best Actor, and it’s the first time he’s won an Oscar since taking home the trophy for his performance in The Silence of the Lambs. Since then, he’s been nominated two other times for Best Actor (The Remains of the Day, Nixon) and another two times for Best Supporting Actor (Amistad, The Two Popes). With this win, the 83-year old Hopkins is now the oldest actor to receive the Oscar for Best Actor, surpassing Christopher Plummer, who was 82 when he won for Beginners in 2011.
Considering how many times Chadwick Boseman triumphed throughout this season, I’m sure Hopkins wasn’t anticipating the need to be present for the Oscars and decided to enjoy a good night’s sleep. After all, being in Wales, it would have been extremely early in the morning for Hopkins to accept the award. At 83 years old, I’m sure staying up until roughly 4:15 A.M. isn’t all that appealing, even if it’s for an Oscar.
Unfortunately, the absence of Hopkins at the Oscars resulted in an awkward end to the ceremony:
The Guardian says The Father co-star Olivia Colman was meant to accept the award on behalf of Anthony Hopkins if he ended up winning. But instead of the actress taking the stage, the ceremony ended abruptly as you saw above.
This all could have been avoided if producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins opted not to hand out the award for Best Picture a little earlier, marking the first time since 1972 that the major award didn’t close out the night. They took a gamble and assumed that Boseman winning Best Actor would offer a lovely moment to close the show, and it didn’t pay off. At least we know now for sure that not even the show’s producers know who’s going to win until the envelope is opened live on air.
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