Sir Anthony Hopkins was painting and walking in Wales rather than picking up his Bafta on Sunday

Hollywood legend Sir Anthony Hopkins celebrated becoming the oldest recipient of a Best Actors Bafta last night, but missed the ceremony because he was painting at home in Wales.

And the 83-year-old from Port Talbot later admitted he didn’t even know he had won the coveted title, assuming that the sudden cheer from the next room was due to the fact that there was a football game on TV.

The star of the Silence of the Lambs, who normally lives in Malibu, had returned to his old tamping ground a few days before the awards ceremony on Sunday and was fighting for a gong for his acclaimed portrayal of an older man struggling with dementia in the coming film The Father.

Sir Anthony Hopkins tweeted this photo of himself in Wales just hours before the Baftas started

Just hours before the showbiz bash at the Royal Albert Hall in London was due to begin, he tweeted a snapshot of himself wandering through what appeared to be Margam Abbey – accompanied by the words: “Trees, streams and books … Back to Home in Wales’.

There were also two emojis, a Welsh flag and a heart.

When a fan asked about the bruises on his hands in the photo, he replied, “I painted before I went for a walk.”

Hopkins’ landscape and abstract works, a distinguished artist for a number of years, are often exhibited around the world while he has long been known to avoid the glitz and glamor of famous red carpet events.

Check out the moment on Twitter that Anthony Hopkins finds out he won the Bafta:

Shortly after his victory was announced, he said, “I’m just so amazed.

“I’m sitting here in my paint-covered hotel room and that cheer went up from next door – I thought, ‘Are you going to a soccer game?'”

At this point he received a message from Florian Zeller, the director of the film, in which he informed him that he had been named best actor.

“I never expected to get this, you know?

“I mean, I’ve got to a point in my life where I thought, ‘I wonder if I’ll ever go back to work’ – an actor’s nightmare.”

He added that he likes to play because it “keeps me out of anger” and added, “I don’t want to sound heavy about it, but it’s the only thing I can do.”

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Sir Anthony, who has received a total of 11 Bafta and Bafta Cymru nominations and was awarded the 2008 Bafta Scholarship, battled competition from Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen and Chadwick Boseman, the late Black Panther star who was posthumously nominated for the role in the blues film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, set in the 1920s.

This year’s Baftas were broadcast live for the first time due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but without an audience.

Many of the well-known nominees only appeared remotely via video link.

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