It's impressive when an elderly and somewhat fey Welshman can count himself among the most badass men in Hollywood, but Sir Anthony Hopkins has made it look easy. What makes Sir Tony an amazing actor is no secret or individual act of magic--he's spent over forty years in the Royal National Theatre, beginning his career in the ever-so-gigantic responsibility of playing understudy to thespian extraordinaire and fellow Knight Sir Laurence Olivier.
What is less obvious is how Hopkins came to embody the modern popular culture image of a murderous sociopath--calm, suave, and socially adept, but only thinly disguising the true nature of a cannibalistic monster. Without Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, there might not be a thriller genre anymore.
Fortunately, when The Silence of the Lambs was released in 1991, the Academy recognized Hopkins' contributions to filmmaking and awarded the film (and Hopkins) with their highest honors. Never before or since has a horror film been so much as nominated for Best Picture, let alone win. (Of course, some credit must also go to actor and previous SAll-Star Ted Levine).
Personally, I find Sir Tony's performance in Titus just as awesome as when he played Dr. Lecter. Whether you enjoy Shakespeare or not, Titus simply kicks too much ass to ignore.