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Anthony Hopkins: His 10 Best Character Quotes

With a filmography as brilliant as Antony Hopkins’, it’s hard to find a role he didn’t play to perfection. Here are some of his best character quotes.

With a filmography as astonishingly brilliant as Antony Hopkins’, it’s hard to find a role he didn’t play to perfection. Known for a charming, yet somehow perfect ability to overact every role he plays without allow it to detract from the quality of his performance, he has received just about every honor in his field.

With so many characters under his belt, he has quite the list of dramatic, interesting, funny and bold quotes to his name. We’ve found ten of the best.

10 Hannibal Lecter (Hannibal)

“Would they give you a medal, Clarice, do you think? Would you have it professionally framed and hang it on your wall to look at and remind you of your courage and incorruptibility? All you would need for that, Clarice, is a mirror.”

This is the perfect example of Lecter’s creepy ability to marry manipulation and sarcasm with his genuine respect and admiration for Clarice Starling.

9 Burt Munro (The World’s Fastest Indian)

“At my age, any day above ground and vertical is a good day.” In The World’s Fastest Indian, Hopkins is playing the role of Burt Munro, the man who, to this day, holds the record for the fastest an Indian (a type of motorcycle) has been driven.

At the time he set the record, he was in his 60s. It doesn’t seem like the sort of role Hopkins would go for, but he absorbs the true story perfectly and gives us a few great quotes, such as this one laced with dark humor.

8 Hannibal Lecter (Red Dragon)

“Don’t move. You’re in shock now. I don’t want you to feel any pain. In a moment, you’ll begin to feel light-headed, then drowsy. Don’t resist, it’s so gentle, like slipping into a warm bath. I regret it came to this, Will, but every game must have its ending.”

While Red Dragon wasn’t exactly able to compare to Silence Of The Lambs in terms of quality, it once again showed Hopkins in his overacting element. This quote is another display of the true creepiness of Hannibal Lecter.

7 Odin (Thor)

This powerful speech from Thor’s father doesn’t require much commentary–its power speaks for itself: “Once, mankind accepted a simple truth: that they were not alone in this universe. Some worlds man believed home to their Gods. Others they knew to fear. From around the cold and darkness came the Frost Giants, threatening to plunge the mortal world into a new ice age. But humanity would not face this threat alone. Our armies drove the Frost Giants back into the heart of their own world.

The cost was great. In the end, their king fell, and the source of their power was taken from them. With the last great war ended, we withdrew from the other worlds and returned home at the Realm Eternal, Asgard. And here we remain as the beacon of hope, shining out across the stars. And though we have fallen into man’s myths and legends, it was Asgard and its warriors that brought peace to the universe.”

6James Stevens (The Remains Of The Day)

“In my philosophy, Mr. Benn, a man cannot call himself well-contented until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer. Of course, this assumes that one’s employer is a superior person, not only in rank, or wealth but in moral stature.”

This quote from The Remains Of The Day truly captures the strange world and character of James Stevens, who had spent his life committed to an employer who he was slowly finding out to be a Nazi sympathizer.

5 Pope Benedict (The Two Popes)

“You know, the, um… this album was recorded in a famous studio in London. I was told, uh, I should be very honored because the Beatles had been there. Do you know the Beatles?”

Following this question, Pope Benedict talks to Pope Francis about The Beatles. Francis asks if he knows ‘Eleanor Rigby’, to which Benedict responds, “Never heard of her”. It’s a moment of surprising comedy for a film which is, at the end of the day, about popes.

4 Richard Nixon (Nixon)

“This is about me. Why can’t you understand that, you of all people? It’s not the war – It’s Nixon! They want to destroy Nixon! And if I expose myself even the slightest bit they’ll tear my insides out. Do you want that? Do you want to see that, buddy? It’s not pretty.”

This particular role saw Hopkins play the very real character of Richard Nixon. While the real-life Nixon we all know was in a race to become President, the behind the scenes version was struggling against bias.

3 Hannibal Lecter (The Silence Of The Lambs)

“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” Not much needs to be said about this Hannibal Lecter quote.

It ended up becoming one of the most famous lines from the classic film, simply because it sums up the creepy nonchalance of Lecter’s cannibalism. Describing what he served human liver with is something only Hopkins could do with such casual sincerity.

2 Dr. Robert Ford (Westworld)

“An old friend once told me something that gave me great comfort. Something he had read. He said that Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin never died. They simply became music.”

This quote from Westworld perfectly sums up what Robert Ford was striving to achieve with his park. Rather than Mozart living on in the form of music upon their death, he wanted people to live on in the consciousness of robots upon their death.

1 Hannibal Lecter (The Silence Of The Lambs)

“I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner.” In a film absolutely full of quotes from start to finish, this might have ended up as the most famous and most re-quoted.

He takes the well-known phrase of ‘having an old friend for dinner’ and makes it disturbingly literal. Without changing the words, Hopkins’ ability to become Lecter means we know exactly what he means, just through his tone of voice.

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