Anthony Hopkins calls for peace on Joy Awards stage in Saudi Arabia

The 86-year-old actor's remarks came as he accepted his lifetime achievement award

Anthony Hopkins. Photo: Joy Awards
Powered by automated translation

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins made a public appearance last night at the 2024 Joy Awards, accepting the lifetime achievement accolade.

The star of Silence of the Lambs, Remains of the Day, and The Father, the latter of which made him the oldest Oscar winner for Best Actor in 2021, took the stage in Riyadh to standing ovation of stars from the Arab world and beyond.

At the end of his speech, he made a particular message towards peace, as conflict rages across the region. The Israel-Gaza war is in the middle of its fourth month, with conflict in Sudan and Yemen also continuing.

"May peace reign in our time," Hopkins said to applause that continued long enough to make his next words inaudible.

Hopkins, who did not travel to the US to accept his Academy Award in 2021, made the most of his trip, also snapping a photo with actor Salman Khan. He also notably did not make his Baftas acceptance speech that same year.

"I wish I could speak your language but I’ll have to [speak English]," he said in his speech.

"I want to thank everyone. This is my first trip to Saudi Arabia. My wife and my family are here. We are overwhelmed by your generosity, by your grace and the remarkable country that this is. I want to come back."

"At this time of my life, I’m just happy to wake up in the morning and realise I’m still here. But being bestowed this gift is an added honour. I’m sort of lost for words. I really appreciate it and I love being here," he added, before making his call for peace.

Hopkins is scheduled to appear in the sequel to Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon, set for release on Netflix in April. Snyder was also present at the event to accept an honorary prize. Hopkins voiced the role of Jimmy in the first film.

Updated: January 22, 2024, 7:01 AM