Anthony Hopkins reaches a "Final Destination"

Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:46pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - What's the downside to digital special effects and 3D movies overtaking theaters? One, at least, is that fans may lose sight of actors like Anthony Hopkins.

At 72 years-old, the Oscar winner says offers of work have slowed in recent years, and he finds roles in movies such as his current "The City of Your Final Destination," to be most enjoyable because films like it "are very quiet and internal."

That is not to say that Sir Anthony doesn't care to work with big action and special effects. He performed in recent horror tale "The Wolfman" and in computer animated "Beowulf."

But with big-budget movies like "Avatar" or "Clash of the Titans" dominating major studio releases -- movies in which the acting is done in front of green screens, and sets and stunts are digitally added into the films -- character-driven dramas such as "City of Your Final Destination," get less marketing money and play on far fewer screens.

As a result, performances such as Hopkins's portrayal of an eccentric, older gentleman named Adam -- his first time playing a gay man on screen -- often fail to reach theater audiences.

"I've done a couple of green screens, and if they work that's great," he said. "But now the audience is so smart, and I think you watch some movies, and you can tell it's green screen, and somehow that looks detached" from the acting.

That won't happen with "City of Your Final Destination," which was directed by James Ivory from a screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

Along with Ivory's producing partner Ismail Merchant, who died in 2005, the trio were responsible for hit dramas such as "Howards End" and "The Remains of the Day," the 1993 movie that earned Hopkins his second Oscar nomination. He also won for playing killer Hannibal Lecter in 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs.   Continued...

<p>Cast member Anthony Hopkins and his wife Stella Arroyave pose at the premiere of "The Wolfman" at the ArcLight theatre in Hollywood, California February 9, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>