With a long career that mostly consists of lead roles, Anthony Hopkins can be considered one of the most successful actors of all time. His movie and TV credits began in the 1960s and since then, he has gone on to appear in 110 films and over 30 TV shows, becoming knighted by the Queen of England in 1987 for his work in the arts.
Hopkins has tried his hand in a number of genres throughout his career but his most notable roles have been the ones where he plays a creepy and scary character. It is such a role (Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs) that won him his only Oscar out of many nominations. Here are his scariest roles.
10 Ted Crawford: Fracture
In Fracture, Hopkins proves once again how good he is at portraying psychotic characters. He plays a Ted Crawford, a Los Angeles structural engineer who violently murders his cheating wife and decides to hold hostage the man she was having an affair.
Instead of hiring a lawyer, he opts to defend himself in court. Smooth-talking prosecutor Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) believes this is going to be an easy case but Crawford proves to be much more intelligent than he thought. The engineer brings up out-of-the-box facts and theories until the jury is left with no choice but to acquit him.
9 Corky: Magic
In Magic, Hopkins plays Corky, a magician who is struggling to connect with audiences. His mentor advises him to create a gimmick in order to connect with audiences and so he comes up with a foul-mouthed and rather scary dummy named Fats. This helps him find instant success.
However, Corky’s mental state is disintegrating and he soon can’t differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. He thus begins alternating between the persona of Corky and Fats. Soon, Fats even orders Corky o kill his manager Ben which he does. He also ends up killing the husband of his love interest.
8 Titus Andronicus: Titus
Anthony Hopkins as the Roman general Titus Andronicus was as creepy as movie villains come. He snapped his daughter’s neck in front of dinner guests, applied blue paint on his face and also sliced a couple of peoples’ throats just for the fun of it. This easily qualifies as Hopkins’ most violent role to date.
Not to mention that he uses the flesh of murdered victims as ingredients in making a pie. Titus is quite a gory film that should definitely be avoided by those who haven’t have a heart that’s as hard as the Roman shields. It’s surprising that Hopkins didn’t win any awards.
7 Sir John Talbot: The Wolf Man
In this remake of the 1941 film The Wolf Man, Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns to his family estate after many years. He has just been informed by his sister-in-law that his brother has died. Lawrence left the estate as a child after his mother died. He was sent to an asylum because he suffered intense trauma after seeing her dead body. He also remembers seeing his father Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins) standing over the body and mourning.
Lawrence is informed that his brother was killed by a strange creature. Before he can find out what’s going on, he gets bitten by the same strange creature. Lawrence becomes a werewolf then discovers that his father John is a werewolf too and the creature responsible for killing his mother and brother.
6 Adolf Hitler: The Bunker
Not many actors have managed to portray Adolf Hitler as magnificently as Anthony Hopkins. The actor managed to bring out all of the Nazi leader’s weird traits for this TV movie. For his performance, Hopkins won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie:
The World War II movie takes us to the final stages when The Third Reich is being dismantled by the Allies. Hitler (Sir Anthony Hopkins) gathers his trusted generals and retreats into his bunker in Berlin with his senior staff. He still believes he is powerful so he starts issuing commands that simply cannot be executed. The panic and absurd mannerisms keep shocking his generals until it dawns on him that the end has really come.
5 Father Lucas: The Rite
Based on Matt Baglio’s novel The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, the horror film introduces us to a man called Michael Kovak who joins a seminary school but a lack of faith makes him struggle to complete it. It turns out he is possessed by a strange demon.
Michael is thus sent to a Vatican preacher named Father Lucas (Hopkins) in order to have his demons removed. However, Father Lucas ends up getting possessed by the demon too. The only priest capable of exorcising Father Lucas happens to be away on a trip so Michael finds himself having to deal with a possed preacher.
4 Arthur Jamison: Guilty Conscience
What would a psycho millionaire do to avoid losing a few million dollars in his divorce? He’d kill his wife. That’s what this thriller is all about. The movie follows a wealthy criminal defense attorney named Arthur Jamison (Anthony Hopkins). Arthur is about to divorce his wife and it’s going to be costly for him.
Given that he is used to helping murder suspects to go free, he figures it wouldn’t be so bad to commit a murder of his own. So, he plans to kill his wife in order to save his money. Throughout much of the film, he conjures up potential outcomes in his mind and how to deal with them. He analyzes loopholes, alibis and everything that will make it the perfect murder.
3 Stevens: The Remains Of The Day
Here, Hopkins is like a henchman who doesn’t fight. He is also a wordless yes-man to his pro-Nazi boss. Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, the film follows a butler called Stevens (Hopkins), who is so cold and reserved that he doesn’t really see anything important outside his job.
Stevens serves his British master so devotedly that he shuts out all friends and family. Housekeeper Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson) tries to befriend him but he doesn’t care much about her. He even refuses to visit his sick father who is on his death bed. And when his boss shows pro-Nazi tendencies, Steven supports him fully.
2 Elliot Hoover: Audrey Rose
In the movie, Anthony Hopkins plays a man named Elliot who believes that a 10-year-old girl is the reincarnation of his daughter who died in a car crash with her mother. He thus begins stalking her, thus putting her parents in a state of fear and panic.
Elliot even kidnaps the little girl and his actions lead to him being arrested and put on trial. But what’s even creepier is watching him explain the principles of reincarnation in court and trying to convince the jury that he is not insane. Easily one of the actor’s best performances.
1 Hannibal: The Silence Of The Lambs
If there was ever an award for “Best Film Titles”, this movie would have won easily. The Silence of the Lambs is based on the book by Thomas Harris even though a couple of things were left out. The movie revolves around FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and cannibalistic killer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hookins). Clarice is trying to catch a serial killer known as Buffalo Bill and so she decides to interview Lecter who is behind bars in order to understand the killer’s mind.
The movie is packed with plenty of creepy moments. Not to forget the creepy mask Hannibal wears on the face. The dialogue is even creepier. When Clarice first meets Hannibal, she tries to suggest that he isn’t brave enough, to which he responds, “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” And who can forget the “Quid pro quo” line?