The `Rite` actor took to the stage at London`s prestigious National Theatre earlier in his career, but disliked both the experience and the people working in the industry.
He said: "I did some Shakespeare there. Jesus Christ. Never again. You always have an illusion about yourself that nobody can wait to see your next big Shakespeare performance.
"I`ve been onstage in Shakespeare and seen people in the front row fast asleep. That was the wake-up moment for me. That was my swansong. I left.
"In the theatre, people talk. Talk, talk until the cows come home about journeys of discovery and about what Hazlitt thought of a line of Shakespeare. I can`t stand it."
However, it is not only the response of theatre critics who irritate Anthony, 73, as the `Silence of the Lambs` star admits he also finds the film industry frustrating.
He recalled to Seven magazine: "Hundreds of years ago, I was in a film that I won`t name. I remember sitting in the audience at the Ziegfield with the studio heads and actors. I could barely keep awake yet all around me, people are crying they`re so moved. I thought this is the slowest film I`ve ever seen. I must have a heart of stone.
"At the party afterwards, they said: `Tony, it`s awesome. Amazing.` But of course, the notices were disastrous. >From then on, I thought eff it. That`s how I`ve treated it ever since. I honestly don`t give a s**t."