cinema: Anthony Hopkins

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The Independent Culture
Poor Anthony Hopkins. He hung around in the US for years and was barely noticed (see Audrey Rose), then he was an Oscar winner only three years ago, yet the studios still aren't sure what to do with him. His name came first and his face loomed large in the original ads for Legends of the Fall, but the publicity revamp, less high-brow, less literary, moves him behind Brad Pitt's shoulder: the hot, sexy American star triumphs over the classically trained, critically respected Welsh-born actor. Which only goes to prove, once again, that while Hollywood genuflects to talent, it's a slave to the box-office...

If Hollywood doesn't know how to package Hopkins (right) - except to beg him to appear in a sequel to Silence of the Lambs - then Legends makes it clear that Hopkins isn't too sure what to do either.

He's there to lend "class", of course, but he can't help hamming it up the way Olivier did when he appeared in projects he imagined beneath him (The Betsy, The Jazz Singer et al ). You haven't lived until you've seen Anthony in a long wig - lots of head-tossing - pretending he's had a stroke that has left him looking just like Popeye, although deprived of the pipe that would make sense of his clenched chin and lazy eye (that's what they call acting, you know). When Brad Pitt asks Anthony why he behaves so, you expect him to reply "I yam what I yam", but, alas, no: when a Hopkins goes to Hollywood, gets famous and then cools his heels, there is little cause for humour.