This Saturday, December 31, the Vatican announced the death of the pope emeritus, Joseph Ratzingeralso know as Benedict XVI. The stage of him in front of the Holy See It began in 2005 and was marked by a series of controversies that led him to formalize his resignation from the pontificate in 2013.
His announcement surprised the world and the cinema wanted to capture this milestone, including the appointment of Jorge Mario Bergoglio As the Pope Francisco. This is how the idea of making The Two Popesanother of the most ambitious productions of Netflix which starred the actor Jonathan Pryce as the current Supreme Pontiff and Anthony Hopkins in the role of the resigning pope.
How did Anthony Hopkins prepare to play Benedict XVI?
“I didn’t mean to offend anyone, I’m just an actor“, said Hopkins when the tape was released on the platform. “They offered me the role of Benedict XVI and I took it, but I don’t have opinions nor am I going to talk about my religious convictions, I’m just an actor. I almost did not look for more information, it is not necessary to overload the brain. I saw some videos about Ratzinger and I heard her voice,” the Hollywood star mentioned about how she prepared for the role.
“I did a little research, not a lot of research, but I tried to get the truth of the whole story without going too deep,” Hopkins told the magazine. Interview Magazine. The film explores the relationship between Pope Benedict and the Pope Franciscotwo of the most powerful leaders behind the Vatican walls, who must confront their own pasts and the demands of the modern world to forge a new path for the Catholic Church.
The Two Popes has the address of Fernando Meirellesnominated for an Oscar for City of God (2002), and with the script by Anthony McCarten, three times nominated by the Academy for films like The Theory of Everything (2014) and The Darkest Hours (2018).
The word of the director
Fernando Meirelles recognizes himself as a “big fan” of Pope Francis and was one of the reasons for directing The Two Popesa film that does not hide the dark side of the pontiff, but with a hint of humor to lighten the story.
“I decided to make the film because I liked the ideas of Pope Francis. When they asked me if I wanted to read the script and make a film about the two popes, I immediately said yes, because at least it would allow me to discover more about him. They were two men talking about religion, which would have been very difficult for audiences to swallow. My first instinct was to change it up and make it more personal and fun,” the filmmaker told Cineuropa.
“Anthony Hopkins I had also read a lot about Benedict XVI, and when he joined the project he managed to transmit all his humanity and charisma to the character. Anthony is a very charismatic person, while Pope Benedict is a pretty boring guy. The important thing is that in the end we had two potatoes that we liked and with whom it was possible to empathize,” he said.
In 2020, the interpretation of Anthony Hopkins as Benedict XVI was recognized with two nominations for best actor at the Golden Globes and in the oscar.
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Benedict XVI: how did Anthony Hopkins prepare to play Joseph Ratzinger in ‘The Two Popes’?
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