Star of stage and screen, Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor, composer, director and film producer. He is the recipient of multiple accolades, including an Academy Award, three BAFTAs, two Emmys and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. In 1993, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts. Hopkins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003, and in 2008 he received the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
In January 2017, Hopkins reported in an interview that he had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, but that he was “high end”.
He is reported to have had a lifetime of challenging relationships with members of his family,
“I think being on the spectrum made me a loner,” he says, adding “I could never settle anywhere. I was troubled and caused trouble, especially in my early years.”
Despite this, Hopkins credits Asperger’s with his ability to stay focused on the craft that he loves. He says the way his brain works may have been helpful with his acting. He’s known for his extraordinary ability to memorize lines. “I definitely look at people differently. I like to deconstruct, to pull a character apart, to work out what makes them tick and my view will not be the same as everyone else.”
Despite his popularity, Hopkins sees himself as “very much a loner. … I don’t go to parties, I don’t have many friends.”
“Having Asperger’s Syndrome, but not knowing I had it, likely led to years of deep insecurity. Now I’ve matured and feel much more at peace with myself.”
Throughout his life, Hopkins has achieved recognition for playing roles like Richard the Lion-Hearted, Hannibal Lecter, and Pope Benedict. He’s been referred to as “the greatest actor of his generation,” and at 83 remains extremely active as an actor, producer, writer and director.