An absent Anthony Hopkins won his second Oscar at Sunday's 93rd Academy Awards for his heartbreaking performance in The Father.
Many people thought the ceremony was anti-climactic when the Best Actor announcement was saved for last and the winner nor a representative was in attendance to accept the award.
They also felt Hopkins' fellow nominee—the late Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom—was snubbed after he had been considered a front-runner leading up to the ceremony.
Hopkins—who previously won Best Actor for Silence of the Lambs in 1992—beat out fellow nominees Riz Ahmed—Sound of Metal, Gary Oldman—Mank, and Steven Yeun—Minari, in addition to Boseman who died last August at 43 from cancer.
In an Instagram post the following morning, the 83-year-old Hopkins said he was surprised by his win but also gave a special nod to Boseman.
He said in the video:
"I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman who was taken from us far too early, and again, thank you all very much"
"I really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored."
Many thought the odds were in Boseman's favor for him to win Best Actor for his riveting performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
The actor died during post-production in August 2020. Despite critically acclaimed performances in several films, the posthumous win would have been Boseman's first and only Academy Award.
Despite the upset victory, many felt Hopkins still deserved his historic win as the oldest actor to win an Academy Award.
And fellow Hollywood stars also shouted their praises.
The Father is based on Florian Zeller's play of the same name.
The film adaptation starred Hopkins—whose extraordinary performance in the titular role of an aging man struggling with memory loss earned him much critical acclaim.
Joaquin Phoenix—who won Best Actor last year for his marvelous turn as the Joker in the eponymous film—presented this year's award in the same category and accepted Hopkins' trophy on his behalf.
The Welsh actor was asleep in bed when he set a record on Sunday night as the oldest actor to ever win an Oscar.
But he was not aware of that distinction—nor of his win—until his long-time agent, Jeremy Barber, called to wake him up.
Barber told PEOPLE :
"Tony was in Wales, where he grew up, and he was asleep at 4 in the morning when I woke him up to tell him the news."
"He was so happy and so grateful."
"After a year in quarantine, and being double-vaccinated, he was finally able to return to Wales, and age 83, it was a great relief after such a difficult year."
"But he loved the role in The Father—it's his proudest performance—and to be the oldest living actor to win in the category means so much to him."