Last night, the Academy left some viewers stunned when the Oscar for Best Actor did not go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Instead, the award went to Anthony Hopkins, who starred in The Father alongside Olivia Colman.
Though Hopkins wasn’t present at the ceremony, he posted a belated acceptance speech on Instagram early this morning, thanking the Academy for the honor and paying a touching tribute to his fellow nominee.
Standing on a hill wearing a black T-shirt and a leather blazer, Hopkins began, “Good morning. Here I am in my homeland in Wales. At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award. I really didn’t. I’m very grateful to the Academy and thank you.” Hopkins also made history as the oldest actor to win an Oscar.
He then turned his attention to the late Boseman, who died last August at the age of 43 after a battle with colon cancer. “I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman,” Hopkins said, “who was taken from us far too early.”
The actor concluded his speech by again expressing his gratitude for the accolade. “And again thank you all very much. I really did not expect this,” he said. “So I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”
A post shared by Anthony Hopkins (@anthonyhopkins)
Boseman was widely considered to be a front-runner for the Oscar, especially after leading the wins in this year’s awards season.
In February, Boseman set a record with four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Da 5 Bloods. He ultimately won the award for Male Actor in a Leading Role for the former film. At the Golden Globes, he also posthumously won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.
His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify the little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing in this moment,” she said in her speech, which she ended with a message to Boseman. “Honey, you keep them coming.”
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