Sir Anthony Hopkins does a hilarious Woody Allen impression. A noted mimic, Hopkins jumps into a stuttering, neurotic riff on the famous filmmaker with the littlest prodding.
“He’s my favourite actor. I mean, I’ve watched him for 40 years,” Hopkins says. “I think he’s a genius. I don’t know if he’d appreciate my impersonation.”
And though Hopkins himself is something of an acting legend, he still gets starstruck.
“He’s a great star,” Hopkins says of his director. “He walks into a room and everyone stops, everyone wants to be with him. On the set, I had to get over the fact that it’s Woody Allen. Whenever I was there, I thought, ‘I can’t believe I’m talking to Woody Allen.’”
It’s no wonder his impression is so good, as Hopkins has had time to study: He stars in Allen’s latest film, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, as Alfie, whose fear of mortality drive him to walk out on his marriage and pick up with a much younger gal.
“The part was an easy part for me to play because I’m that age,” Hopkins admits.
“Although I went through my midlife crisis some years back. Whatever that means. Is there such a thing? I guess there is. For men, especially.
When pressed about how exactly he relates to Alfie, the celebrated actor isn’t afraid of offering an embarrassing anecdote or two.
“My wife is younger than me, so she always wants me to look good. So I stay in shape and I diet and I do all of that stuff, because she wants me to be around for a long time,” he says.
“But she said, ‘Do you know what would be fun?’ We were about to exchange a car. We had a car which was falling apart. She said, ‘How about a Porsche?’ I said, ‘OK, a Porsche.’ So this Porsche arrived, and I couldn’t even get into it.”
Trouble with sports cars aside, Hopkins isn’t fazed by getting older. In fact, he welcomes it.
“I’m going to be 73 at the end of this year, and I’m glad I’m not young anymore. My wife likes to watch Access Hollywood. I’m watching thinking, ‘God almighty, how boring,’” he says with a laugh. “I’m glad it’s all over. I’ve done it.”
As it turns out, this new outlook extends beyond the entertainment industry to the world at large for Hopkins.
“It’s always been a tough place,” he says. “I was watching the news the other day, and I thought, ‘I’ve heard all this before.’ And then the commercial breaks come and you switch to something else, another news channel, switch to a film you know, then back to the same. And everyone’s got this look on their faces like, ‘How worried should we be? Maybe an asteroid’s going to crash into the earth.’ And I just think, ‘Shut up. Just shut up.’”