Anthony Hopkins celebrates 45 years of sobriety, says he chose to live after heading for disaster

Anthony Hopkins
Actor Anthony Hopkins as Father Lucas in a scene from New Line Cinema's psychological thriller "The Rite." |

Academy Award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins shared an end-of-the-year video message celebrating 45 years of sobriety and offered advice for young people struggling after such a trying year.

The 82-year-old took to Twitter on Tuesday with the inspiring video message along with the caption, "With gratitude, I celebrate 45 years of sobriety."

"Hello everyone, good morning. Well, new year's coming, it's been a tough year," he said at the start of the black-and-white clip. "A lot of grief and sadness for many, many, many people. But 45 years ago today, I had a wake-up call."

"The Two Popes" star said he didn’t want to come off as “preachy” but said that when he was "heading for disaster drinking myself to death," a message came to him, "a little thought," which questioned, "Do you want to live or die?"

"I said, 'I want to live,'" Hopkins recalled. "Suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing. I have my off days, sometimes little bits of doubt and all that, but, all in all, I say hang in there."

"Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday. You young people, don't give up, just keep in there, just keep fighting. Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." 

Those mighty forces, Hopkins said, “sustained me through my life."

He ended the message by promising that 2021 will "be the best year."

The respected entertainer first opened up about his alcohol abuse struggles a year ago to Brad Pitt for Interview magazine.

"I look at it, and I think, 'What a great blessing that was, because it was painful.' I did some bad things. But it was all for a reason, in a way," he said of his addiction. "And it’s strange to look back and think, 'God, I did all those things?' But it’s like there’s an inner voice that says, ‘It’s over. Done. Move on.’"

While a guest speaker at the 11th annual Leap (Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Your Potential) conference, Hopkins, who was knighted in 1993 for services to the arts, told students how his "trust in God" helped him overcome alcoholism and saved his life and career.

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