Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award 2022: Sir Anthony Hopkins

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Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award 2022: Anthony Hopkins

From cannibal to cardinal, Sir Anthony Hopkins is a force of nature on the silver screen, whose iconic performances have forever been etched into our collective memory. The Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 is awarded to one of our time's foremost actors, Sir Anthony Hopkins.

He is the 84-year-old Welshman who never dreamed of becoming an actor, but who, through stage and film, found a way to channel a restless inner flame – which earlier in life had been self-destructive – the result is some of the most classic role interpretations in film history.

He is the baker's son from the gray steel mill town of Port Talbot who received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his services to the arts. But while growing up, few believed that little "Tony" would become something big. He had no aptitude for school subjects or sports, and his straightforward working-class father used to regard his son with skepticism and conclude that he was hopeless.

Everything changed when a 15-year-old Anthony Hopkins met the actor Richard Burton, who hails from the same area in Wales, and who encouraged the lost young man to pursue acting. And suddenly his existence got a direction, without which he himself believes he would have been stuck in alcoholism. Before long, he was instead studying under Laurence Oliver at the British National Theater with promises of major roles. But Hopkins' restlessness brought him to Hollywood.

He received the best advice about his craft from co-star Katharine Hepburn in the breakthrough film »The Lion In Winter« (1968); “Don't act, you have a good head, good shoulders and a good voice. Just learn the lines and let the camera do the work”.

The combination of natural talent, manic preparations and a confidence in his own ability has since taken Hopkins to the absolute top. Of the role of the demented patriarch in »The Father« – a performance that, fifty years after his breakthrough, would make him the oldest actor of all time to win an Oscar – he has said that “it was easy. Just very easy.”

During his six decades as an actor, Hopkins has given life to a wide range of real people on the silver screen, including Richard Nixon, Alfred Hitchcock, Pablo Picasso, Narnia author C S Lewis and Pope Benedict XVI. Driven by a restless inner flame that never seems to die down, even at age 84, Hopkins' creativity spills over into classical music compositions and charcoal and acrylic paintings. It was his wife, Stella who encouraged him to paint after observing how he decorates his scripts with drawings covering every blank surface. A habit that comes from reading his scripts over two hundred times until he knows his lines backwards in his sleep.

Hopkins' two most iconic roles, Hannibal Lecter in »The Silence of the Lambs« and the dutiful butler in »The Remains of the Day«, have forever etched him as a central figure in film history. It is completely impossible to imagine either of these two masterpieces without Anthony Hopkins. His cinematic appeal, luminous presence and inimitable charisma elevate every scene he enters. The Welshman makes the grand seem easy. Just very easy.

 

During this year's film festival, Hopkins can be seen in the film »The Son« by Florian Zeller, the follow-up film to »The Father« (2020). »The Son« will have its Nordic premiere on Saturday 12 November at 18.00 at cinema Skandia. In connection with the premiere, the audience will get to meet Hopkins in a digital performance.

The Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to a person active in film whose life's work the Stockholm Film Festival wishes to highlight and honor. The prestigious award in the form of the 7.3 kilogram Bronze Horse – the world's heaviest film prize – is a paraphrase of the Swedish Dala horse and was created by designer Fredrik Swärd. The award has previously been awarded to greats such as Lauren Bacall, David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Susan Sarandon and Paul Schrader and others.

 

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