However, there’s nothing Hopkins, 41, enjoys more than watching Kentucky, especially this season when the Wildcats are ranked No. 1 and unbeaten in Southeastern Conference play after Tuesday’s 73-64 win at Mississippi State. After that game, he posted on Twitter: “@MrJoshHopkins: MKG is a JYD (junkyard dog) Brilliant fight in our Cats.”
The actor shared some insights about his feelings for Kentucky basketball.
Question: Growing up in Lexington, have you always been a University of Kentucky fan, especially when it comes to basketball?
Hopkins: “Always been a huge fan. I can remember being a young kid at a UK game and asking my dad why everyone kept booing (Jack) Goose Givens. He assured me the chants of “Goooooooose” were supportive and I was hooked. I remember sitting in my family’s kitchen listening to Cawood (Ledford) tell me about (Dirk) Minnifield dishing to (Derrick) Hord and (Charles) Hurt. I cried when we lost to Georgetown in the Final Four (in 1984) and was in the house in New Jersey when we won it all in 1996. I’ve got the sickness for sure.”
Question: How much enjoyment do you get following the basketball team and do you find a way to watch and/or listen to many games?
Hopkins: “Like a lot of us, I probably am a little too obsessed with following the happenings of our Cats but it truly is something that bonds so many of us in our community and in our state. I catch every game I can and that’s usually just about all of them. Whether it be going to a bar to watch games not on regular TV in LA or listening to the call on the radio via the Internet, I’m usually cheering from somewhere. I came back to Kentucky this year for several games, including North Carolina and Louisville. Great games.”
Question: What do you think of John Calipari?
Hopkins: “Can you say enough? These last three seasons have been the most fun I can remember. I don’t know if he truly knows the happiness he’s helped bring to the state. If he went to a basketball/media Mecca like New York City he’d be the king of the city but in Kentucky he’s helping extend the quality of life to 90-year-old grandmothers. Our passion is unmatched and he will never do more good or be more beloved than with the Cats. The nation sees what great teams he has but they don’t see him hosting fundraisers in the community. They don’t see how he goes and visits the regulars at Wheelers Pharmacy. He’s been a perfect match for the program and the community. Oh yeah, and this team’s pretty good.”
Question: Any chance he might get a guest spot on your show in the future?
Hopkins: “I was recently asked in an interview who my dream guest on the show would be and I said coach Cal but I’m not sure what part he could play. When I’ve been back in Kentucky I’ve seen him on TV commercials and Brando he’s not but if a part ever comes open for Robot from Pittsburgh, I’ll let ABC know right away that I’ve got their man. Seriously though, I’d love to get him on.”
Question: What do you like best about this Kentucky team?
Hopkins: “We all love the talent and growth but the best part of this team is what great kids these guys are. Anthony Davis blocks everything and he never belittles anyone. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist just exudes passion and work ethic. Darius Miller has been such a great kid for all four years and I love Kyle Wiltjer and Jarod Polson’s Internet videos. They just seem like great kids who are working hard and having fun. Easy to cheer for.”
Question: Do friends, those in the business give you a hard time about being a Kentucky fan?
Hopkins: “Not really. I wear a lot of Kentucky gear and sometimes someone on the cast or in the crew will say something like ‘oh look, you’re wearing a Kentucky shirt, imagine that.’ I have a John Wall Fathead up in my dressing room and most people who see it think it’s sort of a ridiculous thing for a grown man to have on his wall but I can’t really argue with that.”
Question: Do you enjoy interaction with UK fans on Twitter and other ways?
Hopkins: “What’s not to love? The Big Blue Nation runs deep.”
Question: If Kentucky makes the Final Four, will you be there?
Hopkins: “Yes sir! That’s my plan anyway. I’m already booked for the SEC Tournament (in New Orleans).”
Question: Finally, what’s one thing UK fans probably don’t know about you that you maybe wish they did?
Hopkins: “I guess just that I was a Cat fan long before I became pseudo famous and I will be a Cat fan long after anyone cares.”