Monday 20 August 2018

Sir Anthony Hopkins: I don’t know if I’m a grandfather

The actor said he does not care one way or another.

Classic Brit Awards – London
Classic Brit Awards – London

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Sir Anthony Hopkins has said he does not know if he is a grandfather after becoming estranged from his daughter.

The actor, who starred in two films with his only child, Abigail, said he does not care either way.

The actress, whose mother is Sir Anthony’s first wife Petronella Barker, is now approaching 50.

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SHOWBIZ Hopkins

Asked if he is a grandfather now, he told the Radio Times: “I don’t have any idea.

“People break up. Families split and, you know, ‘Get on with your life’. People make choices. I don’t care one way or the other.”

When told that comment sounds cold, he replied: “Well, it is cold. Because life is cold.

“It’s like John Osborne’s response when someone said to him, ‘Mr Osborne, your play is so offensive’, and he said, ‘Life is offensive’.”

The actor, who will next be seen playing King Lear in a new BBC adaptation, said he enjoys working with people, but he doesn’t have many friendships.

He told the magazine: “I like people but I’m very much on my own. I paint, I write music and I play the piano.

“And that’s as good as it gets for me. I have no ambitions. I have no desire to prove anything.

“I’m happily married but my wife worries because I work too hard.

“I will go on working because what else would I do? I’ll retire when my teeth and my hair fall out. What’s the point in sitting and staring at the TV?

“I mean, I can’t play golf, and I don’t wish to.”

Asked if he has ever feared losing his mind like the Shakespearean character he is playing, he said: “I don’t think I will go mad now.

“The best I can say of myself is that I’ve tunnelled through the mountain of my life and come out the other side.

“I think once you get past the mid-70s and you’re in your 80s, then you feel OK because you know your time is limited and you’d better get on with it and enjoy it.

“In my 50s and 60s, I was discombobulated. I was not sure which way to go in life – although I was a very successful actor.

“Like when I was doing King Lear with David Hare, for some reason I was angry and very confused. Well, life is strange and it is baffling. And you come to a point when you think, ‘Oh shut up! Get over the past. Get on with your life. Wake up!”

Sir Anthony said he is also concerned to protect himself from his own ego and vanity, adding: “I am very guarded about that. I have an assistant and my wife. You talk about power.

“Look at Hollywood! How insidious it is. Look how people feel entitled to this, that and the other, and they can only be surrounded by ‘Yes’ people.

“It’s a poisonous, toxic atmosphere and I don’t want to be surrounded by people like that. The ‘lovey’ and the kissing cheeks – I can’t stand it. There’s so much hypocrisy… and they know nothing.”

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The full interview is in Radio Times, out now.

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