Anthony Hopkins paid tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman during his Best Actor acceptance speech at last night’s Academy Awards (April 25).
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The actor, who won the gong for his depiction of a man with Alzheimer’s in The Father, gave a short speech in a video message sent from Wales. He expressed his shock at winning and honoured the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star, who died of cancer last year.
“Good morning. Here I am in my homeland in Wales, and at 83 I did not expect to get this award. I really didn’t,” he said.
“Very grateful to the Academy and thank you, and I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman who was taken from us far too early. And again thank you all very much. really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honoured. Thank you.”
Hopkins’ win also secured him the position of being the oldest actor to ever receive an Academy Award. It’s his second Oscar, having won the first nearly 30 years ago in 1992 for Silence Of The Lambs.
Boseman was largely expected to be crowned the Best Actor winner posthumously. NME‘s Paul Bradshaw argued so in a predictions blog: “The tragedy of Chadwick Boseman’s death hits all the harder when you watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and realise just how good he really was – arguably giving his finest performance in the film he never lived to see released.”
Nomadland dominated last night’s awards, winning Best Picture and bagging Chloé Zhao’s the Best Director gong. The film’s actress Frances McDormand also won.
Zhao made history alongside Minari actress Yuh-jung Youn at the ceremony; Zhao is the first woman of colour, and only second woman ever, to win the Best Director award, while Yuh-jung Youn became the first Korean actor to win an Oscar.
See the full list of winners here.