Anthony Hopkins On Alcoholism: I Was Disgusted, Busted & Not To Be Trusted

By Bryan Le 07/30/18

“I still cannot believe that my life is what it is because I should have died in Wales, drunk or something like that.”

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Anthony Hopkins at the european premiere of 'Beowulf' at the Vue cinema on November 11, 2007, London, England.
Hopkins wants everyone to never give up on their dreams.

It may be hard for some to imagine Anthony Hopkins as anything but a talented actor, but at a recent LEAP (Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Your Potential) conference he shared how his alcoholism and lack of passion in acting could have left him a failure—or dead.

He revealed to an audience of high school and college students that he is incredibly thankful that he was able to stop drinking when he did. He explained why he started in the first place.

“Because that’s what you do in theater, you drink,” he said. “I was very difficult to work with, as well, because I was usually hungover.”

Hopkins described himself in this era as “disgusted, busted and not to be trusted.” But at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a woman offered him what became life-changing advice: “Why don’t you put your trust in God?”

After taking the words to heart, Hopkins said he lost all desire to drink. If not for these transforming words, Hopkins believes his life would have turned out drastically different.

“I believe we are capable of so much,” he told the audience. “I still cannot believe that my life is what it is because I should have died in Wales, drunk or something like that.”

He also revealed that he grew up an “uptight loner” who was bullied and “not all that bright” when it came to his studies. He even admitted he went into theater because “he had nothing better to do.”

Despite all these struggles, he’s managed to become an Academy Award-winning actor. He shared his life philosophy in a Twitter post that featured a photo of himself with Dr. Bill Dorfman, the founder of the LEAP Foundation: “Live life as if it’s impossible to fail.”

This isn’t the first time Hopkins delivered this message to an audience. In a 2017 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he expounded the virtues of persistence.

“Keep going, never give up,” he said on the show. “We get questions in our head and little voices that put us down when we were kids. Get over that. That’s what I had to do—get over whatever troubles.”

He mentioned that he keeps a photo of himself as a young boy on his phone, telling it, “We did okay, kid.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter

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