Not only didn't the 83-year-old actor attend the ceremony, even by satellite, but he was asleep at the time his award was given out — because it was 4 a.m. in Wales. He's since posted a video message giving his thank-yous and honoring the late Boseman, who was favored to win.
"Good morning," Hopkins began. "Here I am in my homeland, in Wales, and at 83 years of age I did not expect to get this award. I really didn't. I'm very grateful to the Academy. Thank you."
He continued, "And I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early."
He ended by saying he felt "very privileged and honored."
Hopkins "was asleep at 4 in the morning when I woke him up to tell him the news," his longtime agent Jeremy Barber told People magazine. His win makes him a record holder as the oldest star to win an Oscar in the category.
"After a year in quarantine, and being double-vaccinated, he was finally able to return to Wales, and age 83, it was a great relief after such a difficult year," Barber added. "But he loved the role in The Father — it's his proudest performance — and to be the oldest living actor to win in the category means so much to him."
Before the awards show, Hopkins, who plays a man grappling with dementia in his award-winning role, shared a video of himself visiting his father Richard Hopkins's grave in Wales. In it, he recited the poem "Do not go gentle into that good nigh" by Welch poet Dylan Thomas.
Hopkins, who previously won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Silence of the Lambs, bested fellow nominees Boseman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Gary Oldman (Mank) and Steven Yeun (Minari).
Boseman, who died of colon cancer in August at age 43, was favored to win, and telecast producers seemingly rearranged the last three awards to put Best Actor last, potentially ending the show with a heartfelt tribute to Boseman. However, Joaquin Phoenix, who presented the award, announced Hopkins as the winner. He wasn't at the ceremony in Los Angeles or at a satellite location, so Phoenix signed off and the credits rolled. It was an abrupt end to the show. And social media didn't hold back in its disappointment about how things played out, especially over Boseman's loss.
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