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Anthony Hopkins, 86, Is 'Reluctant' to Make TikTok Dancing Videos, but 'We Need a Laugh In Life' (Exclusive)

The star of the new movie 'Freud’s Last Session' tells PEOPLE about how his wife and niece talk him into getting “silly” on social media

<p>Greg Doherty/Getty; Anthony Hopkins/ Instagram</p> Anthony Hopkins shows his dance moves on social media

Greg Doherty/Getty; Anthony Hopkins/ Instagram

Anthony Hopkins shows his dance moves on social media

Anthony Hopkins has recently added social media stardom to his skill set.

Thanks to the whimsical videos he posts, the 86-year-old two-time Oscar winner has gained a new generation of fans who may have never seen The Silence of the Lambs’ Hannibal Lecter boast about dining on another man’s liver with fava beans and a nice chianti.

To his more than 8 million combined followers on TikTok and Instagram, he shares videos of himself goofing off: There he is dancing the rumba in his kitchen to “Mambo Italiano,” dangling chopsticks from his chin or wiggling his tongue (à la Lecter) while stirring red sauce.

“I try not to act my age,” says Hopkins. “I’m 86. So I’ve reversed it. I’m 68, really,”

His wife of 20 years, Stella, 67, and niece Tara Arroyave initially talked him into making the videos, he says.

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<p>Anthony Hopkins TikTok</p> Anthony Hopkins dances in a kitchen

Anthony Hopkins TikTok

Anthony Hopkins dances in a kitchen

Related: Anthony Hopkins' Life in Photos

“I’m slightly reluctant,” Hopkins admits. “I say, ‘Oh no, not again.’ But I do something silly because we need humor. We need a laugh in life. For good reason, I guess. Life is tough. The world is a savage place, but life has its beauty.”

If Hopkins sounds philosophical, it’s for a few good reasons. Stella is working on a documentary about his life, and as atheist Sigmund Freud in Freud’s Last Session, he debates the existence of God with writer C.S. Lewis (played by Matthew Goode).

Says Hopkins: “I was fascinated by the argument between the believer and the nonbeliever.”

Decades into an illustrious career, Hopkins still loves making movies. He recently wrapped on the thriller Locked, and lends his voice to Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver, due out on Netflix in April.

“I’m so lucky to be working at my age,” continues Hopkins, who seems surprisingly nonplussed that he’s offered roles even though he just won his second Best Actor Oscar for The Father three years ago. “They still seem to send me scripts, and I think, ‘Well, good.’ ”

Related: See Anthony Hopkins Become Famed Neurologist Sigmund Freud in Freud's Last Session Trailer

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Stella Arroyave and Anthony Hopkins on March 27, 2022.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Stella Arroyave and Anthony Hopkins on March 27, 2022.

On his days off, Hopkins says he spends his days painting, playing the piano and spending time with his wife.

He also enjoys being solo. “I’m very much a loner. I have very few friends,” he says. “I’m not antisocial. I’m friendly, but I don’t seek out... I enjoy solitude. I know that sounds morbid, but I do enjoy it.”

Freud’s Last Session is in theaters Friday.

For more on Anthony Hopkins, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE.

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