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MANILA, Philippines - We've seen Sir Anthony Hopkins essay other real-life characters before, like former US President Richard M. Nixon in the film Nixon (1995) and the artist Pablo Picasso in the film Surviving Picasso (1996).
He has also starred in some of the darkest movies Hollywood has ever produced, as Father Lucas Trevant in The Rite (2011) and, of course, as Hannibal Lecter in Red Dragon (2002), Hannibal (2001) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
In 2013, Hopkins brings both worlds together when he portrays legendary sinister filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in Hitchcock, starring opposite Helen Mirren as Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville. Sacha Gervasi directs the film.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Hopkins says that, in his opinion, Hitchcock could have retired later in his years "because some of the films became terrible."
He prefers the time when the director was able to churn out classics such as Rear Window, Vertigo, North By Northwest and Psycho, which was from 1954 to 1960.
The film Hitchcock revolves around the production of Psycho. It also opens a window into the filmmaker's relationship with his wife who also turns out to be his "partner in crime."
To prepare for the role, Hopkins says they did "about 4 or 5 camera tests to modify to make sure there wasn't too much makeup." He also had the task of getting the director's voice and even posture right.
"I watched a lot of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on television," Hopkins says.
Lucky for the actor, he was able to meet Hitchcock before the director passed away. It was one day in a restaurant in West Hollywood, and his agent told him that Alfred Hitchcock was also there.
"Oh, God. Can I meet him?" Hopkins remembers telling his agent. And when they were introduced, the filmmaker — who had just gotten his knighthood then — said to Hopkins curtly, "Charmed, I'm sure."
In the movie, the director is asked if he was planning to retire after directing the film North by Northwest in 1959 which, of course, he did not do.
In Hopkins' case, when asked if he ever thought about retirement, he admits that he almost did so a few years ago.
"I didn't actually plan it, but I thought, 'Maybe I should just slow down and call it a day'," he tells Huffington Post. "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'."
Hopkins continues, "The stress of just working, which takes effort — I think it keeps you going."
With the announcement of Oscar nominees just around the corner (November 30), Hopkins seems unaffected by buzz that he and Mirren may be nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress for Hitchcock (he won the award in 1992 for Silence of the Lambs and has since been nominated 3 times more).
"Has it got a lot of Oscar buzz? I hadn't heard that," he tells Huffington Post.
"It makes no difference. 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!" the actor retorts.
"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."
According to Deadline.com, Hopkins is one of the newest members of the "Anti-Awards Campaign Club." The website says that, last month, Joaquin Phoenix "slammed awards season" calling it "utter bullsh*t."
The bottomline is that they want their work to speak for itself.
"Kissing the backside of the authorities that can make or break it; I can't stand all that," Hopkins continues to tell Huffington Post. "I find it nauseating to watch and I think it's disgusting to behold... I've seen it so many times."
Watch the international trailer of 'Hitchcock' here:
Hitchcock the movie also stars Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Tony Collette, Tony Huston and James D’Arcy.
It will be released in the Philippines on February 6, 2013 by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Warner Bros. - Rappler.com
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