Anthony Hopkins was "heading for disaster" before he got sober in 1975.
Nearly half a century later, the silver screen legend celebrated 45 years of sobriety on Tuesday, Dec. 29, with an inspiring message of hope. As 2020 comes to a close, he explained why he has a lot to be thankful for this year.
Hopkins shared a video on Instagram today and opened by acknowledging everyone's pain this year. The 82-year-old star said, "New Year's is coming. It's been a tough year, full of grief and sadness for many, many, many people. But 45 years ago today, I had a wakeup call."
He admitted, "I was heading for disaster. I was drinking myself to death."
Though The Silence of the Lambs actor describes himself as "not preachy," he opened up about the reason why he quit drinking all those years ago.
"I got a message," he said. "A little thought that said, ‘Do you want to live or die?' I said, ‘I want to live.' And suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing."
Hopkins went on to say he sometimes has "bits of doubt," but, "all in all, I say hang in there. Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday."
He then turned his attention toward his fans, including those battling addiction. His advice: "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid. That's sustained me through my life... This is going to be the best year."
Since getting sober 45 years ago, the Oscar winner has appeared in acclaimed films like The Two Popes, Hannibal, Hitchcock and even Thor: Ragnarok, as well as the award-winning television series Westworld.
Last year, Hopkins opened up to Brad Pitt for Interview magazine about his past "mistakes" and sobriety. He reflected on how it's shaped him into the man he is today, saying, "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."
The Emmy winner added, "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.'"
Pitt responded, "I think we're living in a time where we're extremely judgmental and quick to treat people as disposable. We've always placed great importance on the mistake. But the next move, what you do after the mistake, is what really defines a person."
The father of six also explained in the interview that he's realizing "as a real act of forgiveness for myself for all the choices that I've made that I'm not proud of, that I value those missteps, because they led to some wisdom, which led to something else."
Hopkins said he read about Pitt's "struggle with booze and all that," to which the Moneyball actor responded by saying he saw it as "a disservice to myself, as an escape." Hopkins called his battle "a gift," adding, "I myself needed to hide it, years ago."
Watch his optimistic anniversary video above.
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