From Kara Warner @ People: Although Sir Anthony Hopkins has won dozens of awards for acting, he recently admitted that his chosen career was almost an accident — and that it was almost derailed by alcohol addiction.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hopkins opened up about his struggles with alcoholism during a guest talk on behalf of student leadership organization the LEAP Foundation (Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Your Potential), and revealed that religion saved him from himself.
After admitting that he started acting because he “had nothing better to do,” Hopkins, 80, said his drinking became a problem while working in theater, “because that’s what you do in theater, you drink.”
The Oscar winner conceded that he “was very difficult to work with, as well, because I was usually hungover,” and that the turning point for him came courtesy the advice from a woman at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in December 1975.
“[She said] why don’t you just trust in God?” Hopkins recalled, and that his desire to drink virtually dissolved right then and there, “never to return.”
Hopkins went on to encourage his audience, comprised of nearly 500 high school and college students, to believe in themselves and say “yes” to things.
“I believe that we are capable of so much,” Hopkins said. “From my own life, I still cannot believe that my life is what it is because I should have died in Wales, drunk or something like that.”
The Welsh actor continued,
“We can talk ourselves into death or we can talk ourselves into the best life we’ve ever lived. None of it was a mistake. It was all a destiny.”
The Westworld star will next appear in the upcoming Netflix drama Pope, as Pope Benedict, opposite Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis.