Entertainment

Anthony Hopkins, 83, says he felt ‘deeply guilty and ashamed’ over his luck as an actor

Sir Anthony Hopkins has admitted that he turned to alcohol when he was younger as he felt ‘deeply guilty and ashamed’ over his luck as an actor.

The Oscar-winning star, 83, who started his career on stage before soaring to fame in the 1968 movie The Lion In Winter, has reflected on his 45 years of sobriety and life in a new candid interview.

Hopkins admitted that looking back at the time, he has ‘no pride’ in himself as he ’caused a lot of damage’ due to not feeling ‘worthy’ of his fame. 

Candid: Sir Anthony Hopkins has admitted that he turned to alcohol when he was younger as he felt ‘deeply guilty and ashamed’ over his luck as an actor (pictured in 2018)

Speaking to the Sunday Times, the actor was also asked about his ‘estranged’ daughter and only child Abigail Harrison, who he welcomed with first wife Petronella Barker in 1968, to which he said it was ‘taboo’ and he wants ‘no word of that’. 

Reflecting on his early career, he told the publication: ‘Booze is a wonderful way of checking out. It has an instant effect – that’s why we do it. 

‘In my case I had these peculiar conflicts – I didn’t feel I fitted into my own skin. I felt deeply guilty and ashamed and not worthy of the luck I’d had as an actor.’

Hopkins admitted that it is ‘lethal to be around drunks’ and while he wouldn’t want to relive those years due to ‘hurting people’, the ‘restlessness and anger’ acted as a ‘driving force’ in his life.

Fame: The Oscar-winning star, 83, who started his career on stage before soaring to fame in the 1968 movie The Lion In Winter, has reflected on his 45 years of sobriety and life in a new candid interview (pictured while performing in 1970)

Fame: The Oscar-winning star, 83, who started his career on stage before soaring to fame in the 1968 movie The Lion In Winter, has reflected on his 45 years of sobriety and life in a new candid interview (pictured while performing in 1970)

Family: Speaking to the Sunday Times , the actor was also asked about his 'estranged' daughter and only child Abigail Harrison, who he welcomed with first wife Petronella Barker in 1968, to which he said it was 'taboo' and he wants 'no word of that' (pictured together in 1991)

Family: Speaking to the Sunday Times , the actor was also asked about his ‘estranged’ daughter and only child Abigail Harrison, who he welcomed with first wife Petronella Barker in 1968, to which he said it was ‘taboo’ and he wants ‘no word of that’ (pictured together in 1991) 

The star revealed that in 1974, where he starred in Peter Shaffer’s Equus on Broadway in New York City, he would be ‘swigging away’ at the bar before anyone had even left the theatre which caused ‘hell on earth’ for those around him.   

Hopkins, who has previously admitted that he was ‘drinking himself to death’, got sober in 1975. He hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol since and has no ‘urge’ to ever drink again.

He said: ‘When I asked for help and I realised I wasn’t alone, that there were thousands of people like me, all my fears began to dissolve,’ he added: ‘The boozing is over and done with. I’m not a goody-goody. It’s a boring subject.’

Hopkins also admitted that he sympathises with those who have turned to alcohol during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.

The actor said that the ‘pressure is beyond belief’ so of course people will ‘seek relief’ during the challenging time.

Fame: Hopkins admitted that looking back at the time, he has 'no pride' in himself as he 'caused a lot of damage' due to not feeling 'worthy' of his fame (pictured in 1970)

Fame: Hopkins admitted that looking back at the time, he has ‘no pride’ in himself as he ’caused a lot of damage’ due to not feeling ‘worthy’ of his fame (pictured in 1970)  

Hopkins encouraged those struggling to ‘get a connection’ with someone or phone services to get help. 

Giving words of encouragement, he added: ‘Having given up, I found my life only improved.’ 

In December, Hopkins marked 45 years of sobriety as he delivered a personal message to all those struggling with addiction during the ongoing pandemic. 

In a video shared via Twitter, he urged: ‘Hang in there. Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.’ 

He added: ’45 years ago today I had a wake-up call. I was heading for disaster. I was drinking myself to death.

Sobriety: In 1975, at the age of 38, (pictured), Hopkins got sober. He hasn't touched a drop of alcohol since and has no 'urge' to ever drink again

Sobriety: In 1975, at the age of 38, (pictured), Hopkins got sober. He hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol since and has no ‘urge’ to ever drink again 

‘I got a message, a little thought, that said, “Do you want to live or die?” I said I wanted to live. And suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing.’

The Oscar winner acknowledged he still has ‘off days’ and ‘doubt’ but stressed the need to remain strong.

‘Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday,’ he said. ‘You young people, just keep in there. Don’t give up, just keep fighting.’

Hopkins started out in British theatre in 1960 and got his big break internationally in the 1968 historical drama The Lion In Winter opposite Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn.

Hopkins has admitted to being ‘drunk’ and ‘hungover’ a lot of the time early in his career.

Milestone: In December, Hopkins marked 45 years of sobriety as he delivered a personal message to all those struggling with addiction during the ongoing pandemic

Milestone: In December, Hopkins marked 45 years of sobriety as he delivered a personal message to all those struggling with addiction during the ongoing pandemic 

However, in 1975, at the age of 38, he committed to sobriety and hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol since. 

Hopkins has also previously spoke about his fractured and acrimonious relationship with daughter Abigail.

In 2018, the actor defended his comments in which he said he didn’t know if his only child has kids and didn’t care ‘one way or the another’.   

Speaking to The Times, he insisted that his remarks weren’t ‘cold’ but rather he’s learned to live with his daughter’s decision to not be apart of his life.

He began: ‘No, I wasn’t cold. I’m not cold. Her choice is her choice. You know, I did the best I could, but you know, OK, I think if somebody doesn’t want to be part of my life, fine.

Talented: Hopkins' acting credits include The Silence of The Lambs, in which he won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Hannibal Lecter (pictured in film still)

Talented: Hopkins’ acting credits include The Silence of The Lambs, in which he won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Hannibal Lecter (pictured in film still)  

Roles: His other credits include Legends Of The Fall, The Mask of Zorro, Shadowlands, Hitchcock, the Thor movies and more recently HBO's Westworld (pictured)

Roles: His other credits include Legends Of The Fall, The Mask of Zorro, Shadowlands, Hitchcock, the Thor movies and more recently HBO’s Westworld (pictured) 

‘Go and do whatever you want. I have no memories or any… I certainly don’t… I wish her well and all that, but I don’t want to talk about my daughter. Those things are over.’

He added: ‘I’ve got no blame. People do what they do. And I don’t understand it and it doesn’t bother me. I can’t waste my time worrying about it. And I’m not cold, I’m just thinking, “Oh well, that’s the way it is.”‘

Hopkins’ acting credits include The Silence of The Lambs, in which he won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Hannibal Lecter.

He’s been nominated four times for Oscars since then; 1993’s The Remains Of The Day, 1995’s Nixon, 1997’s Amistad and 2019’s The Two Popes.   

His other credits include Legends Of The Fall, The Mask of Zorro, Shadowlands, Hitchcock, the Thor movies and HBO’s Westworld.

Hopkins’ most recent film, The Father, was released in January and he stars alongside fellow Oscar-winner Olivia Colman. 

The film follows Anthony, played by Hopkins, who is heading towards 80 and is refusing to use the nurses his daughter Anne, played by Colman, has set up for him. 

Most recent film: Hopkins' most recent film, The Father, was released in January and he stars alongside fellow Oscar-winner Olivia Colman

Most recent film: Hopkins’ most recent film, The Father, was released in January and he stars alongside fellow Oscar-winner Olivia Colman  


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