Sir Anthony Hopkins isn’t exactly known for playing the warm-and-fuzzy type onscreen, so if the role of doting grandfather ever comes up, it might be a bit of a stretch — even for the Oscar-winning actor.
Hopkins hasn’t spoken to his only child in nearly two decades, and in a new interview, the 80-year-old actor says he doesn’t know or care if she has a child of her own.
“I don’t have any idea,” Hopkins told Radio Times when asked if daughter Abigail has made him a grandfather. “People break up. Families split and, you know, ‘get on with your life.’ People make choices. I don’t care one way or the other.”
When told that sounded cold, Hopkins replied, “Well, it is cold. Because life is cold. It’s like John Osborne’s response when someone said to him, ‘Mr. Osborne, your play is so offensive,’ and he said, ‘Life is offensive.’”
Abigail Hopkins, 48, is the actor’s daughter with his first wife, Petronella Barker. He and Barker were married from 1966 to 1972. Abigail is a singer, songwriter, actress, and acting coach. In an interview with the Telegraph in 2006 she revealed she hadn’t seen her father in person or onscreen in five years.
“We are … estranged,” she declared. The Silence of the Lambs star — who was allegedly dealing with alcoholism and depression — walked out on Abigail and her mother when she was 2 years old. “I would see him but maybe once a year. There is a little bit of sadness, but I have to get on with my life. It has always been like that. See him, and then not. Then when I was 16 there was some row.”
The pair briefly reconnected in the ’90s, and she even had cameos in two of his films, Remains of the Day and Shadowlands. But it didn’t last. In a 2002 interview with Howard Stern, Hopkins said they were estranged again.
“I hardly ever hear from her,” he said. “She probably has good reasons. I guess we are estranged. I hope she is well. She is too busy and has to do her own thing. I think she is in England somewhere. Life is life. You get on with it.”
Abigail told the Telegraph 12 years ago she could be open to a reconciliation. “Possibly,” she said. “It would have to be a two-way thing, though. I don’t know how I would feel about it. We have never really been close. We’ve never discussed big life issues. Because, well, our relationship was always so sporadic. I’ve never felt I could discuss those sort of things with him.”
Clearly it never happened.
Sir Anthony, who stars in the upcoming BBC adaptation of King Lear, claims to Radio Times he doesn’t even know where his daughter lives. As with Shakespeare’s tragedy, “children don’t like their fathers; you don’t have to love each other,” he says.
The actor also had some harsh words for Hollywood. “Look at Hollywood, how insidious it is. Look how people feel entitled to this, that, and the other, and they can only be surrounded by yes people,” he said. “I don’t want to be surrounded by people like that. The ‘lovey’ and the kissing cheeks — I can’t stand it. There’s so much hypocrisy … and they know nothing.”
Both Hopkins and his daughter spend a lot of time in the U.K. According to Abigail’s personal website, she is between England, the United States, and Europe and is currently “putting the finishing touches” on her fourth album.
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