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Anthony Hopkins On Method Actors: ‘What A Pain In The A**’

Anthony Hopkins talks method-acting and Awards season

Respected actor Sir Anthony Hopkins said in a recent interview that there are two things in the acting business that he simply cannot abide: Method-actors and Oscar glad-handing.

Promoting his upcoming Alfred Hitchcock biopic (aptly titled Hitchcock), Hopkins gave an interview to The Huffington Post in which he touched on his disdain for method-acting, the shameless self-promotion of individuals during Awards season, and whether or not he ever met Sir Alfred Hitchcock himself.

On method acting and staying in-character between takes (which reportedly occurred on the set of Spielberg’s Lincoln):

“There’s no such thing. Well, you can do it if you want, but I don’t go along with being called ‘Mr. Hitchcock.’ I think that’s a lot of crap. I just don’t understand that. If actors want to do that, fine. If they want to be miserable, that’s up to them. I’m not interested. It’s a job. I do the job. I’m certainly not going to make my life miserable just to be a character.”

Hopkins continued:

“It’s a pain in the a**. Who the hell wants to be with some miserable grump because he wants to get his performance right, so you have to call him this or call him that? It’s so boring. I’ve been with actors like that and they’re a pain in the a**, they really are. They’re unpleasant to work with and I don’t think they’re always that good either. I’ve worked with some awkward customers, fortunately not too many. I go out of my way never to work with them again.”

On Award season sycophancy:

“You know, I’ve been around — I’ve got the Oscar myself for Silence of the Lambs — and having to be nice to people and to be charming and flirting with them … oh, come on! People go out of their way to flatter the nominating body and I think it’s kind of disgusting. That’s always been against my nature.

“You know, kissing the backside of the authorities that can make or break it; I can’t stand all that. I find it nauseating to watch and I think it’s disgusting to behold. People groveling around and kissing the backsides of famous producers and all that. It makes me want to throw up, it really does. It’s sick-making. I’ve seen it so many times. I saw it fairly recently, last year. Some great producer-mogul and everyone kisses this guy’s backside. I think, ‘What are they doing? Don’t they have any self respect?’ I wanted to say, ‘F*** off.’ “

Did Hopkins meet Hitchcock himself before he died?

“I did in West Hollywood. My agent took me to this restaurant one day and said, ‘There’s Alfred Hitchcock down there.’ I said, ‘Oh, God. Can I meet him?’ Hitchcock had just gotten his knighthood, so we’re walking past him and my agent said, ‘Good afternoon, Sir Alfred.’ He said, ‘Hello. How are you?’ He said, ‘This is my client Anthony Hopkins.’ Hitchcock said [to me], ‘Charmed, I’m sure.’ “

But …

“I think later in his years, he could have retired because some of the films became terrible.”

Indeed, the only thing Hopkins seemed to have a favorable opinion of were his co-star Helen Mirren and how much he loves acting. On Helen Mirren:

“She was exactly what I expected. Very professional, friendly, very good. Excellent actress. No-nonsense.”

On working and his own retirement:

“No, I don’t ever want to retire. I did a few years ago. I didn’t actually plan it, but I thought, ‘Maybe I should just slow down and call it a day.’ My wife said to me, ‘You do that, you will die. You can’t retire. It’s your work, it’s your life. You love working.’ “

You can read Sir Anthony Hopkins’ full interview here. What do you think? Are method-actors pains in the a**? And is there a little too much “backside-kissing” during Awards season? Sound off!

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