It was the British invasion all over again last week in L.A., when Sir Anthony Hopkins was presented with that city’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ annual Britannia Award.
“We should be looking adoringly at Sir ‘Tone,”‘ announced Helen Mirren, using the British working-class nickname for Anthony. Before the dinner, Mirren, along with Mike Medavoy, Stacey Keach, Joan Collins, Ellen Barkin, Irena Ward and Ronald Neame, gathered for cocktails in a private reception room at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
For Mirren, who presented Hopkins with his award, and the other women — all of whom did seem to look adoringly at Sir Anthony — the style of choice for the night was the little black dress.
“I got it on sale,” said Mirren of her cut velvet number.
As most guests lifted their champagne glasses to toast Hopkins, one operator chose instead to network, awkwardly approaching the guest of honor for business chat.
“Prince Charles is very interested,” he said to Hopkins. “We’ll talk?”
“Yes, yes. Of course,” said a polite, but startled Hopkins.
As a cold rain continued to fall outside, the VIPs joined more than 500 other guests inside the ballroom for dinner, after which Liza Minnelli gave her first performance since her hip surgery.
After the show, Hopkins, who had flown to Los Angeles during a break from directing the film “August” in England, circulated to greet old friends and even perform a table-side Rod Steiger imitation.
When asked why he decided to direct “August,” Hopkins said, simply, “I dunno, I just did it.”