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Anthony Hopkins talks Red 2, Hannibal Lecter, Noah - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Anthony Hopkins poses at the premiere of ''The Wolfman'' at the ArcLight theatre in Hollywood, California February 9, 2010. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Anthony Hopkins poses at the premiere of “The Wolfman at the ArcLight theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2010. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Action-comedy movie Red 2 is set to be released in cinemas next week. In this film, Sir Anthony Hopkins teams up with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Catherine Zeta-Jones and others. The Welsh-born actor is playing the role of a physicist and former spy, Bailey.

When asked whether he thinks he would make a good spy in reality, Hopkins said: “No, I don’t think I would be a good spy at all. I would be too afraid to get caught.”

Hopkins revealed that although he was not a cast-member of the original movie, he took the decision to join sequel, Red 2, because he wanted to know more about the film, its atmosphere, what it wants to express, and why it succeeded and gained critical success.

Photo of Sir Anthony Hopkins with Asharq Al-Awsat's Mohammed Rouda. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

File photo of Sir Anthony Hopkins with Asharq Al-Awsat’s Mohammed Rouda. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Speaking about the similarities between himself and the character he plays in the movie, Hopkins said: “I am not the sort of the person who likes to compete with others. When I was younger, I used to like competitions. Now, however, I think it is pointless to attempt to compete with others because no one can completely control anything.”

On the subject of his early years, the 75-year-old said that being solitary and a bad student at school was among the reasons that pushed him to pursue a career in acting.

Reflecting on his school days, Hopkins said that he did not do well in any particular subject and acknowledged having a difficult relationship with his father. However, the Hollywood star said that he believes this was ultimately a good thing, because it made him more determined to be successful. Hopkins said that being an only child had pushed him to live in his own private world.

Hopkins also denied media reports that he had paid a surprise visit to his childhood home in Port Talbot, South Wales, earlier this year and that he had even offered to buy the small semi-detached house. He stressed that he had no intention of buying the house, adding that he believes that the current owner is the one behind these newspaper reports.

Commenting on his controversial depiction of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the critically acclaimed film The Silence of the Lambs, Hopkins said that he did not expect this movie to garner as much success as it did, but acknowledged that “I knew that it was a different and more serious kind of movie.”

Hopkins revealed that he did not watch much of Hannibal, a current TV series of the Hannibal Lecter story: “I haven’t seen it. I never have time to watch anything. . . . I caught sight of one of the episodes; I heard the actor is very good”.

That actor is Mads Mikkelsen, who has received positive responses for playing the role the Sir Anthony Hopkins played in three films, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and prequel Red Dragon.

As for his well-known passion for painting, Hopkins said that his wife “was the one who inspired me and insisted that I continue to paint.” Anthony Hopkins’s paintings have been sold at a number of art exhibitions and galleries. Although the Welsh-born actor has come into some criticism for his love of art, he has been quoted as saying: “When I paint, I just paint freely without anxiety regarding outside opinion as criticisms. I do it for sheer pleasure. It’s done wonders for my subconscious. . . . I dream now in colors.”

When asked about his view of movies based on religion, Anthony Hopkins spoke about eagerly-awaited Biblical blockbuster Noah, in which he is set to play the role of Methuselah. Russell Crowe takes on the role of prophet Noah. Hopkins stressed that films such as this “help actors to leave the present behind and enter the past.”

Hopkins praised Noah writer and director Darren Aronofsky, saying that the acclaimed film director had shown that “it is not necessary that the film be about religion. Rather, it could be a historical film that tackles a religious issue.”

The Welsh actor said that Noah will be a success because it caters to people’s interests in religious characters. He said, “Millions of people across the world want films that retell history and religions from a different perspective.”