“He was on screen for less than 20 minutes”: Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar Win Put Director in Utter Disbelief After Believing He Was a Supporting Actor

Just another story where Anthony Hopkins proved someone wrong with his massively impeccable talent.

“He was on screen for less than 20 minutes”: Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar Win Put Director in Utter Disbelief After Believing He Was a Supporting Actor
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Anthony Hopkins is one of the best actors Hollywood could ever be gifted with and his big-screen works is the living proof of it. Even after more than three decades, his 1991 blockbuster The Silence of the Lambs is remembered as one of his best works to date. The film received huge critical acclaim and resulted in Hopkins winning his first-ever Oscar for Best Actor.

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Anthony Hopkins in a still from The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Anthony Hopkins in a still from The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

However, as incredible as his performance was in the movie, the director of the film, the late Jonathan Demme believed that Hopkins should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor instead. This was due to his minimal screen time. However, Demme’s initial thoughts were put to rest when Anthony Hopkins ended up winning the award for Best Actor instead.

Also Read: “This guy’s a genius”: Anthony Hopkins Considers One ‘Hated’ Director To Be As Great As Steven Spielberg And Martin Scorsese After Working With Him

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Anthony Hopkins Shocked Jonathan Demme With His Oscar For ‘Best Actor’

Anthony Hopkin as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs
Anthony Hopkin as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs

Also Read: “They don’t grab me”: Anthony Hopkins Takes Another Dig at Marvel Movies After Calling His Thor Role ‘Pointless Acting’

While he took pride in his movie and all the actors who gave remarkable performances, the film didn’t ‘seem like an Oscar movie’ to the late Jonathan Demme because it was a thriller about a young woman trying to save another young woman. But then they got nominated for the Oscars.

Because of that, Demme was fighting the urge to put Anthony Hopkins in the Best Supporting Category because of his minimal screen time, which could increase his chances of bagging the accolade. As he shared in an interview with Deadline:

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“The nominations took everybody by great surprise. We thought these bigger pictures would win the prizes, and the only thing I can remember us ever really talking about was the impulse to put Anthony Hopkins in the Best Supporting Category because his screen time was so relatively short. He was on screen for less than 20 minutes, which would seem to relegate him to Best Supporting Actor.”

Continuing, he let out how he shared that impulse with his team and how the outcome totally had him ‘freaked out’.

“I just said, ‘Look, you guys, let’s have as much fun as we can with this. That’s not a supporting performance. It’s an outstanding achievement in a leading role by a male. So let’s go for it.’ We all went out for the Academy Awards, and then…we started winning. I was just completely freaked out.”

Well, that reaction is justified, considering how he initially wanted to get Anthony Hopkins nominated for the Supporting Actors award!

Also Read: “I just understand them”: Anthony Hopkins Made a Chilling Confession About His Most Iconic Movie That Was Turned Down by Michelle Pfeiffer for Being “Too Evil” 

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Why Anthony Hopkins’ The Silence of the Lambs Was A Masterpiece

A still from The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
A still from The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Not only was The Silence of the Lambs in the theatres for about five months, but it also topped the charts for at least six weeks in a row to be ranked as the number-one watched and loved movie by fans.

But there was more than just that that made it special: the scenes between Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter and Jodie Foster‘s Clarice Starling and the entire way that their relationship played out in the movie brought about something new for the audience. As Ted Tally continued to share:

“That is new, dramatically, [Jonathan] said. The way Lecter becomes involved in an active case in a teasing, manipulative way. Their whole relationship, their whole sort of wicked stepfather, sexual undertone, mental chess game that’s going on between them. Jonathan said, ‘I’ve never seen that before, and I don’t think anybody else has, and I think that makes this movie new.’”

However, at the same time, Tally gave the maximum credit to the book on which the film was made for the massive success of the movie.

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“The thing is, the book was such a banquet, a feast. It became a matter of choosing wisely and, try not to overdo it. The book was an embarrassment of riches, great plot, and great characters. So it was a matter of selection, and editing, and redesign. It wasn’t a matter of invention so much.”

Regardless, had it not been for the cast and crew’s combined hard work and efforts, The Silence of the Lambs could have never been the masterpiece that it is remembered as, even today!

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Written by Mahin Sultan

Articles Published: 1003

Mahin Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. With almost one year's worth of experience in her field, she has explored and attained a deep understanding of numerous topics in various niches, mostly entertainment.

An all-things-good enthusiast, Mahin is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Commerce, and her love for entertainment has given her a solid foundation of reporting in the same field. Besides being a foodie, she loves to write and spends her free time either with her nose buried in a good book or binging on COD or K-dramas, anime, new movies, and TV serials (the awesome ones, obviously).

So far, Mahin's professional portfolio has more than 500 articles written on various niches, including Entertainment, Health and wellbeing, and Fashion and trends, among others.