Anthony Hopkins thought offer to play Richard Nixon was joke at first

Anthony Hopkins says he thought Oliver Stone was kidding when the director first asked him to play Richard Nixon.

"I said, 'I can't play Nixon. I'm not an American,"' Hopkins said Sunday on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

The British actor starred in the 1995 film "Nixon" and earned an Academy Award nomination for the role.

Hopkins was to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the 63rd annual Golden Globe awards Monday, the AP reported.

He won an Oscar for portraying Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs" and also was nominated for his portrayal of John Quincy Adams in the movie "Amistad."

Hopkins said it's important as an actor not to judge the characters portrayed.

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