Bafta Film Awards 2021: Anthony Hopkins wins fourth Bafta in surprise Best Actor victory

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Anthony Hopkins speaks onstage during an event for 'The Two Popes' on November 18, 2019. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Netflix)
Anthony Hopkins speaks onstage during an event for 'The Two Popes' on November 18, 2019. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Netflix)

Sir Anthony Hopkins has won his fourth acting Bafta — and his third for Best Actor in a Film — for his portrayal of a man living with Alzheimer's in The Father.

The 83-year-old acting legend pulled off a surprise victory in the category, ahead of frontrunner Chadwick Boseman, who was posthumously nominated for his work in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

The other nominees in the category were: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Adarsh Gourav (The White Tiger), Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round) and Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian).

Read more: Full list of Bafta winners

Hopkins has previously won for The Silence of the Lambs and The Remains of the Day, as well as for his work in the 1972 BBC adaptation of War & Peace.

In 2008, he was also given the BAFTA Fellowship — the organisation's highest honour.

The Father (Credit: Lionsgate)
The Father (Credit: Lionsgate)

In The Father, Hopkins stars as Anthony — a retired engineer struggling with the loss of his independence due to the onset of dementia.

The film uses trickery involving its set and editing to thrust the audience into the character's disorientation and his increasing lack of trust in what his own mind is telling him.

Read more: Hopkins earns Oscar buzz as The Father trailer is unveiled

As well as scooping the Best Actor prize, writers Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton picked up the award for Best Adapted Screenplay in recognition of their innovative take on an illness that affects so many people.

Zeller collected the Best Actor prize on Hopkins' behalf via video link, reading out a message from the star.

Sir Anthony Hopkins with the Academy Fellowship award during the 2008 Orange British Academy Film Awards. (Photo by Joel Ryan/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sir Anthony Hopkins with the Academy Fellowship award during the 2008 Orange British Academy Film Awards. (Photo by Joel Ryan/PA Images via Getty Images)

Hopkins is also nominated for the Best Actor prize at this month's Oscars, but the bookies are still backing Boseman to emerge victorious.

The Bafta Film Awards took place over two nights this weekend, with Clara Amfo fronting the first half before handing over to Edith Bowman and Dermot O'Leary for the second evening.

Read more: Baftas pay tribute to Prince Philip

Nomadland was the big winner on the night, leaving with four awards — including Best Film and Best Director for Chloe Zhao. 

The Father scored two wins, along with Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Sound of Metal, Promising Young Woman and Soul.

Watch: Trailer for The Father, starring Anthony Hopkins