The surprise of the biopic ''Nixon'' -- Anthony Hopkins transformed into the scandalous president

By Cindy Pearlman
June 30, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

According to Apollo 13‘s Ed Harris, who portrays Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt in Oliver Stone’s Nixon biopic, history is not about to repeat itself. ”[Nixon] won’t cause the same controversies [as JFK],” says Harris. ”It’s a great script, and a very fair look at this guy. It doesn’t applaud him, but it doesn’t condemn him.” In fact, the set was buzzing not with Watergate conspiracy theories but with Anthony Hopkins’ transformation into Nixon. ”It was great to watch him getting this guy down,” says Harris. ”Some of the moments would be startling. James Woods [who plays H.R. Haldeman] said Hopkins was just blowing his mind.” Harris, however, had a much harder time getting to the heart of Hunt. ”What research?” laughs the actor. ”These guys were pretty secretive. Let’s just say there’s not a lot of interviews and footage on my character — until later, of course.”