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Anthony Hopkins directs his wife of four years, Stella Arroyave, in the fantasy drama Slipstream, in theaters today. Considering her only acting experience stemmed from a bit part on Dallas, she was hesitant to take the role, but now she’s earning critical acclaim.

How has she pushed his boundaries?

“Just before we got married, my wife said ‘I’d like you to paint for the wedding some party favors,’” the 69-year-old Oscar winner says, sipping tea at The Regency Hotel in NYC. “I said ‘you want me to dance on the tables?’ and she said ‘no, I want you to do some paintings.’ I said ‘I can’t paint.’ She said ‘I’ve seen your scripts. I see you painting all the time. You do little drawings.’ I said ‘how many do you want?’ ‘75.’ She said ‘I want you to paint some acrylics.’ I said ‘I don’t have any training.’ She said ‘paint.’ I did 75 acrylics.”

Why do they make a good couple? “Because I love her, that’s why,” he tells me.

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