‘Hannibal Lecter’ Falls Ill in Russia

MOSCOW, January 10 (RIA Novosti) – Cannibal psychopaths may be unstoppable, but actors playing them are more susceptible to the elements – as Sir Anthony Hopkins proved when the Russian winter got the better of him.

The Welsh actor, famous for his on-screen portrayal of serial killer Hannibal Lecter and about 90 other roles, traveled to Russia for his 75th birthday, which falls on Dec. 31, Russian media reported.

Hopkins spent a week in Moscow with his wife before leaving for St. Petersburg on the Sapsan bullet train last week.

However, he was bed-ridden upon arrival with what appeared to be a severe cold, Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid said on Wednesday.

Hopkins missed a sightseeing trip and the premiere of “Don Quixote” at the famous Mariinsky Theater, the daily said.

But he was up and out of the hotel on Wednesday, apparently recovered enough to get a glimpse of the Russian Empire’s former capital, 100TV city television reported citing the hotel administration.

Daily temperatures in both Moscow and St. Petersburg hovered between zero and minus 6 degrees Celsius in the first week of 2013, according to Gismeteo.ru weather forecaster.

Lifenews.ru tabloid alleged that Hopkins caught a cold on the bullet train, though the press service of the Russian Railways laughed away the assumption when asked by Komsomolskaya Pravda, saying there are no drafts on the Sapsan. Photos from the trip showed Hopkins in what looks like a warm sheepskin coat and sporting a classic Russian hat with ear flaps, the “ushanka.”

It remained unclear why Hopkins chose to celebrate his 75th anniversary in Russia. His sole connection to the country through film was in 1974, when he played a Soviet black marketer in a romantic drama “The Girl from Petrovka.”


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