Sir Anthony Hopkins was fast asleep when he was announced as the winner of Best Actor at Sunday night's (Apr 25) Oscars.
The 83-year-old screen legend became the oldest person to receive an Academy Award in the category for his part in The Father, however, there was no one there to accept the honour on his behalf.
The late Christopher Plummer previously held the title of the oldest Oscar recipient when he won Best Supporting Actor for 2008's Beginners.
Hours after the ceremony aired, the actor's agent, Jeremy Barber, issued a statement in which he explained that his client was getting some shut-eye at 4am when he phoned him to inform him that he had made history with his win.
When he answered the call, Hopkins said the Oscar "means so much to him" as the film, in which he plays the dementia-stricken titular patriarch, is his "proudest achievement".
His agent told People: “Tony was in Wales, where he grew up, and he was asleep at 4 in the morning when I woke him up to tell him the news.
“He was so happy and so grateful.
“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. 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.”
Hopkins later shared a short video on Instagram early Monday morning, thanking the Academy and sharing a heartfelt salute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who was expected to win.
“Here I am in my homeland in Wales,” Hopkins said in the video. “At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award, I really didn’t. I’m very grateful to the Academy.”
“I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early,” he continued. “I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored.”
Hopkins beat off stiff competition from Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), the late Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Gary Oldman (Mank) and Steven Yeun (Minari) in the coveted category.
It marks his second Best Actor win, having previously scooped the accolade for The Silence of the Lambs in 1992. Hopkins was also awarded the Best Leading Actor gong for The Father at the BAFTAs earlier this month. — BANG SHOWBIZ