Brad Pitt Asked Anthony Hopkins Why Painting Is ‘Meaningful’ to Him

Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins memorably starred opposite one another in 1994’s Legends of the Fall and 1999’s Meet Joe Black. They also both appeared in the documentary Boffo! Tinseltown’s Bombs and Blockbusters in 2006. Thus, over the years, the two have come to know each other quite well. Pitt and Hopkins sat down to chat for Interview Magazine, during which they discussed life, growing older, Hollywood’s shifting landscape, and more. 

Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins
Brad Pitt and actor Anthony Hopkins film ‘Meet Joe Black’ on June 19, 1997 at 55th and 5th Street in New York City | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Pitt and Hopkins may boast one of the most desirable creative outlets for a career, yet the two don’t only act. Pitt explained to Hopkins back in 2019 that he had picked up sculpting. Pitt said, “I’ve been playing with sculpture in a sculpting studio the last few years,” and went on to ask Hopkins about his other creative pursuits. 

Anthony Hopkins paints to stay out of trouble 

Pitt asked Hopkins, “Our mutual friend said you’ve been painting like a banshee. What is it about that? To me, it’s another form of creating, but why is it meaningful to you?” Hopkins explained that art keeps him “out of trouble,” before explaining how his wife nudged him to pursue other artistic outlets. Hopkins shared: 

“It’s meaningful to me because it keeps me out of trouble. It keeps me off the streets. Before Stella and I got married, she found scripts of mine with drawings in them. She said, ‘I want you to do some pictures for the wedding, a party gift.’ I said, ‘I can’t.’ She said, ‘Well, what are these? Just do them.’ She had them framed and given out.”

Hopkins | Interview Magazine

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Hopkins started with some sketches as wedding favors and then transitioned into painting when his wife led him in that direction. 

Hopkins talks to Brad Pitt about painting

The Silence of the Lambs star went on to share how, after he drew sketches for his wedding, his wife said he should start painting. Hopkins said: 

“And then she said, ‘Right, now I want you to start painting.’ I said, ‘I can’t paint.’ She said, ‘Will they put you in jail? Paint.’ So I got a studio with canvases and I started painting, and I started selling them. And in the studio, in Malibu, I had some paintings hung up there, by the pool, and Stan Winston, who was a bonafide artist, came over for a barbecue, and he came into the studio to have a pee. I happened to be in there, and he said, ‘Who did all these?’ I said, ‘I did.’ He said, ‘Why are you pulling your face like that?’ I said, ‘Well, I have no training.’ He said, ‘Don’t take one lesson. You’ve got it. You’re an artist. You can paint. I couldn’t do that because I’m an academic painter, but you’re free.’”

Hopkins | Interview Magazine

Hopkins may not have had the training or the confidence when it came to his artistic pursuits outside acting, but he definitely has the talent.