The morning after the Academy Awards, the Hannibal star, 83, shared a video and noted how surprised he was to hear the news.
“Well, good morning. Here I am in my homeland in Wales. At 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award,” the Westworld alum said via Instagram. “I really didn’t. I’m very grateful to the Academy, and thank you.”
He then went on to honor the late Chadwick Boseman, who was the favorite to win in the category for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
“I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early,” Hopkins continued. “Again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this. So I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”
The actor, who took home his first Academy Award in 1982 for his role in Silence of the Lambs, has been sharing photos and videos as of late from his life in Wales. Hours before the 93rd annual Oscars, he posted a video of himself reciting Dylan Thomas‘ poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” while visiting his father’s gravesite.
He got emotional during the video, noting that it’s “so painful” to think about. The clip then zoomed in on his father, Richard Arthur Hopkins’ headstone, revealing he died on March 30, 1981, at age 73.
During Sunday’s show, the order of the awards was changed, placing the best actor category last. The switch-up lead many to believe that was done in the assumption that Boseman would win. Since the show ended with Hopkins’ win — and he wasn’t there to accept it — many viewers on social media were disappointed.
The Da 5 Bloods actor star kept his cancer diagnosis private while working on multiple projects.
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and battled with it these last four years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in a statement to Us Weekly at the time. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson‘s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.”
His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, was in attendance at the Oscars and prepared to accept his award should he have won.
“If you see the world unbalanced, be a crusader that pushes heavily on the seesaw of the mind,” Ledward, 30, said at the SAG Awards on April 4. “That’s a quote by Chadwick Boseman. Thank you.”