It’s apparently been several years since Sir Anthony Hopkins last spoke with his estranged daughter, Abigail, and the actor couldn’t care less according to comments he made last week. According to People, Hopkins reportedly walked out on his relationship with Abigail’s mother, Petronella Barker, when Abigail was just a toddler. Now, she’s 48 years old, and Hopkins said he’s not concerned about what she’s doing with her life — but he swears he’s not being “cold.”
In an interview with the Radio Times, Hopkins discussed the BBC’s upcoming adaptations of King Lear in which he plays the titular character. Shakespeare’s Lear is driven mad by the breakdown of his relationships with his daughters, so a question about his own estranged relationship with Abigail doesn’t seem far off the mark.
When asked about her and whether she has children of her own, though, Hopkins told the Radio Times, “I don’t have any idea. People break up. Families split and, you know, ‘Get on with your life.’ People make choices. I don’t care one way or the other.” The interviewer said that response seemed cold, to which Hopkins replied, “Well, it is cold. Because life is cold.”
In a follow-up interview with The Sunday Times, Hopkins apparently seemed surprised that his comments received so much coverage. “No, I wasn’t cold,” he said, backtracking a bit on his Radio Times interview. “I’m not cold. Her choice is her choice. You know, I did the best I could, but you know, OK, I think if somebody doesn’t want to be part of my life, fine. Go and do whatever you want. I have no memories or any . . . I certainly don’t . . . I wish her well and all that, but I don’t want to talk about my daughter. Those things are over.”
According to People, Hopkins arranged for Abigail to make appearances in two of his films in the 1990s, but the two haven’t spoken since. Abigail told The Telegraph in a 2006 interview that growing up, she “would see him, but maybe once a year.” She expressed similar sentiments as her father about the need to move on: “There is a little bit of sadness, but I have to get on with my life. It has always been like that. See him, and then not.”
Hopkins told The Sunday Times, “I’ve got no blame. People do what they do. And I don’t understand it and it doesn’t bother me. I can’t waste my time worrying about it. And I’m not cold, I’m just thinking, ‘Oh well, that’s the way it is.’”
However estranged she and her father are, it would seem they have a lot in common. Abigail struggled with alcoholism, substance abuse and depression, something her father has been open about in his own past. They also have similar career interests. On her personal website, Abigail identifies as a singer-songwriter, actor and acting coach. Reconciliation may not be in the cards for these two, but things do change. Regardless, we wish them both the best.