10 Things You Didn’t Know About Anthony Hopkins
8. Early Life
Philip Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam near Port Talbot, Glamorgan. His parents were Annie Muriel and Richard Arthur Hopkins, who worked as a baker. Growing up, Anthony would help his family in the bakery and said he had a hard time fitting in with the other kids. “I was bullied as a boy – lots of kids are, but hopefully most of us get on with our lives and grow up,” he once said in an interview. At the age of 10, despite little interest in acting, he set his career in motion when he attended an amateur dramatics class at the local YMCA. “I thought to myself: ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ I had no interest in acting, no idea of what I was going to do in life, except probably follow my dad into his bakery. But I tried acting, liked it, and stuck with it. I saw it as the way I would keep that promise to myself of getting back at those who had made my school life a misery. There are times when I wondered if I ever would, though.”
One thing the actor readily admits is that he was not a good student in any sense, and school was a huge struggle for him. Of his time at school, Hopkins once said, “I was pathetic at school in Port Talbot. I don’t know if it was dyslexia or Attention Deficit Disorder, or just me being a problem child, but I sat in the back of the classroom and didn’t know what any of the teachers were talking about — I was bottom of the class at everything. And I was made to suffer.” Due to his lack of focus, his parents tried to instill discipline into him by sending him to Jones’ West Monmouth Boys School in Pontypool, after which he attended Cowbridge Grammar School, but never gave up on acting and in 1957 he enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff.