The Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins, once a stalwart member of the National Theatre, is the latest recruit to the ranks of film spy anti-heroes. He is shortly to emerge as Philip Calvert, Alistair MacLean’s new character, described variously as “the first under-water spy” and “a slightly ribald Secret Service agent.” The first film in this series which the publicity machine confidently predicts will “Out-Bond Bond” – called When Eight Bells Toll – is presently being filmed on the Island of Mull.
Tony Hopkins is 31 and the future seems bright indeed, considering that he was playing a walk-on part at the Old Vic only four years ago. But, although he admits he would be a fool not to be delighted at such a starring role, something in him is balking from enjoying the prospect of fame. He confesses to being in a very strange frame of mind rather than in a state of euphoria. He is, in fact, going through an old transition stage and is finding it difficult to adjust to the fact that although he still feels like an ordinary person just doing his job. Others have already dubbed him a star and consequently expect him to behave like one. For a start, he doesn’t look like a star, unless as a boxer or a footballer, and not being able to be himself is unnerving him. Gloomily he tells of how he greeted an electrician on the film set the other day in a friendly fashion only to have the man turn on him and say “Don’t patronise me boy.”
Brooding - Hotel - Lounge - Knees - Chin
Sitting brooding in a Scottish hotel lounge, knees drawn up to his chin, Hopkins said glumly that he had never made so much money nor been so neurotic. “The thing that annoys me is that everybody takes acting so damn...
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