Wailing in the hillsides as Hopkins becomes American
Friday 14 April 2000
Uneasy murmurings rumbled through the Welsh Valleys yesterday in response to the news that one of the country's most celebrated heroes has become an American.
Sir Anthony Hopkins, star of The Silence of the Lambs, finally confirmed his long-term love affair with America by becoming a US citizen, forfeiting the right to use his title in his adopted country. But people in his home town of Port Talbot accused him of "forgetting his roots", and there was even a call for him to be stripped of the honour he was granted by being made a Freeman of the Borough.
Hopkins pledged allegiance to the US during a small ceremony at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, entering as a British Welshman and leaving as an American Welshman.
From now on he will be known as plain old Anthony Hopkins, as he was before his knighthood in 1993.
In addition to swearing to bear arms for the United States if called upon to do so, he was required to recite the words: "I further renounce the title of nobility which I have heretofore belonged."
Hopkins, 62, arrived at the courthouse accompanied by his mother and his girlfriend, Francine Kay. Several showbusiness friends turned up as witnesses, including the director Steven Spielberg, and his wife, Kate Capshaw, as well as the movie producer Paula Wagner. Hopkins' US spokeswoman, Catherine Olim, said: "He has been here a long time and it seems like the right thing to do. Anthony is very happy about the citizenship. However I have no comment to make about the knighthood."
Hopkins grew up in the area of Port Talbot called Tai Bach - Welsh for "little houses".Daniel Davies, 59, a local factory worker, said the actor had become "too big for his boots". He added: "It is disgraceful that he should forget his Welsh roots." The Tai Bach postmaster, Asghar Ali, 45, said: "Some people in this village are fighting for survival and hoped for some support from Sir Anthony. He is always harping on about his Welshness but when the chips are down he decides to go away."
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre