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Sharing a style with Hopkins

January 30, 2011
By KATHRYN SPIRA, For The Leader-Herald

I happened to see Anthony Hopkins interviewed last week on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and learned we have some things in common.

I was surprised when he revealed he was a fan of "American Idol," even to the point of being in the audience during season eight when Adam Lambert was performing. In fact, Hopkins said,

"I think it's a great show because it's like the American dream, isn't it? These kids can get up there and do what they want and I think it's fantastic," he said on the Jan. 18 show.

The legendary actor went on to say while he hadn't voted last season, he had been a fan of eventual runner-up Crystal Bowersox.

I have to say, my picks for season eight and last season were the same as his. In fact, I bought the CDs put out by both Lambert and Bowersox, although I have to admit I wasn't as impressed with Lambert's as I was with Bowersox's "Farmer's Daughter," which I recommend to you.

Hopkins was on the show to promote his new horror movie "The Rite," where he plays a priest who performs exorcisms. I have to admit, I don't care for horror films. In fact I never saw and have no desire to see "Silence of the Lambs."

But I also share something else with Hopkins. He mentioned his early acting was very influenced by the Stanislavski method of acting, also called "The Method," which I studied as well.

When I was out in Los Angeles, I studied under John Ruskin, along with my good friend Nancy Baker. She actually came to visit back in 1996 and we still correspond or call back and forth. A couple years ago, she mentioned Hopkins was doing a guest lecture with John Ruskin's acting group where she was still studying. I wish I could have been there.

When she emailed me, she said "Tony" was helping direct a production at the time, although I don't remember what play it was. I know Ruskin considered Hopkins a mentor, as did my friend Nancy.

Nancy wrote a play that was produced in L.A. called "Dear Mrs. Baker" which won the Critic's Circle Play of the Week award about five years ago when it was in production. It told of the letter writing campaign her mother had with soldiers in Vietnam during that war. Some of the soldiers whose letters were quoted came to the production, so she got an extra thrill out of that. It was earmarked for a Monday Night Movie starring Sela Ward, but unfortunately never got picked up.

So, apparently besides acting styles, Hopkins and I have similar music tastes. Who would have thought it?

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website at



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