The star fought off competition from Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte and Robin Williams to win the Best Actor Oscar for his grizzly role in Silence of the Lambs.
Hopkins admits he was stunned by the award, especially after realising his win fell on the same date of his father Richard's passing 10 years earlier.
He tells Piers Morgan Tonight, "I enjoyed getting the Oscar. I enjoyed that. I didn't think I was going to get it. And then, when Kathy Bates came onstage, I thought, 'I think I've got this'. I don't know why. When she called my name, I thought, 'Oh, now I can make some bad movies...' and I got up and I don't remember much about it.
"I still remember the Oscar was there on that glass-topped table, and I thought, 'What happened?' And that was it. I'd been thinking of my father, because he died 10 years previous, on that very night. And that came to my thought just then and I'd forgotten the date that he died and that's the night.
"I thought, 'My father, he died 10 years ago tonight. I wonder if he's around somewhere?'
"It was quite extraordinary. He was somebody who influenced me very deeply, my father. I think he would have been proud of that moment."