Anthony Hopkins gets active in "The Mask of Zorro"

By Josh Wolk
Updated July 17, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

Anthony Hopkins veers more toward the buckled-down than the swashbuckling in his screen roles. But while playing Antonio Banderas’ mentor in the action film “The Mask of Zorro” (which opens today), Hopkins enjoyed letting his hair down and putting his sword up. “I said to Anthony, ‘Why on earth are you playing Zorro?'” director Martin Campbell told EW Online. “He said, ‘I’m fed up with those Merchant-Ivory-type numbers where you’re dead from the knees up. I want to do a two-hour popcorn movie.'”

Hopkins gets to resurrect his body in “Zorro,” with its chandelier-swinging swordfights and physics-defying horseback tricks. But even though the stunts are impressive, the masked man’s antics aren’t enhanced by the typical special effects that moviegoers have come to expect from summer blockbusters. “I’m so used to all that stuff, the machine guns and car crashes, and I’ve done it myself,” says Campbell, who directed the 1995 James Bond hit, “GoldenEye.” “But I don’t think we’re in trouble, because ‘Zorro’ hasn’t got the usual recipe of action. I hope people will respond to something different.”

The Mask of Zorro

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 137 minutes
  • Martin Campbell