The 93rd Academy Awards made a few creative decisions on Sunday night that clearly didn’t jive with audiences. The graphics for the ceremony were wonky, the “In Memoriam” segment was presented way too quickly, and above all else, the decision to present the Best Picture category third last followed by Best Actress and Best Actor backfired spectacularly.
Among the five Best Actor nominees (with Chadwick Boseman being a heartbreaking exception, of course), Sir Anthony Hopkins wasn’t in attendance. He wasn’t even attending the ceremony remotely. In his stead, there was a static photo representing him.
Last year’s Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix presented the award that many assumed would go to the late Chadwick Boseman, not only for his remarkable performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” but to honor the icon who was taken from this world far too soon.
Instead, Phoenix announced Hopkins as the winner for his role in the acclaimed film “The Father.” With Hopkins not available to give an acceptance speech, the telecast quickly pivoted to emcee for the night Questlove, who closed out the ceremony with a few remarks.
Despite the awkwardness of the segment, however, audiences shouldn’t cast aspersions on Hopkins for not making himself available to accept the Academy Award live. For one, the actor is 83-years-old. Furthermore, he was not in Los Angeles for the evening, but rather in his homeland of Wales, where the local time was four o’clock in the morning at the time of his win.
Indeed, fans were deprived of hearing what would’ve been a joyous Hopkins give what was likely an unexpected acceptance speech. But through the power of the internet, we can watch his heartwarming remarks in the video above.