Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is known as one of the greatest actors of our time, has opened up about being an alcoholic and an atheist until one encounter led him to God.
There is no doubt that Anthony Hopkins is a skilled actor, having played diverse characters that are the epitome of evil to those who are men of faith. However, when he was 37-years-old, the Oscar-winning actor found himself in the depths of despair as an alcoholic and an atheist.
In 1975 while in New York, Hopkins had a drinking problem that was so bad that it almost felt like he was possessed. “It was like being possessed by a demon, an addiction, and I couldn’t stop,” the Welsh actor admitted. “And millions of people around like that. I could not stop.” The Silence of the Lambs star realized that in his drunken stupors, he was a danger to not only himself but those around him.
That’s what led him to Alcoholics Anonymous where the words of a woman at the AA meeting changed his life and started his journey to faith. “Why don’t you just trust in God?” the woman asked him. It’s not something Hopkins had ever tried. But, as desperate as he was, he thought, “Well, why not?” Deciding to believe and trust in God was the moment everything changed for the desperate actor.
“I could not stop [drinking], but I just asked for a little bit of help and suddenly, pow. It was just like, bingo,” Hopkins recalled. Almost miraculously, taking a leap of faith, the craving to drink was taken from him, “never to return again.” And, he’s believed in God ever since, working day after day, year after year, to grow in his faith.
When asked in a CNN interview with Piers Morgan if he believed in God, former-atheist Anthony Hopkins replied wholeheartedly, “Yes, I do. I do.” The Legends of the Fall star also weighed in on celebrities who are staunch atheists. “I’d hate to live like that, wouldn’t you?” Hopkins said. “We see them, mind you, on television today, many brilliant people who are professional atheists who say they know for a fact that it’s insanity to have a God or to believe in religion,” he furthered.
“Well, OK, God bless them for feeling that way and I hope they’re happy,” Hopkins added. “But I couldn’t live with that certainty, and I wonder about some of them: why are they protesting so much? How are they so sure of what is out there? And who am I to refute the beliefs of so many great philosophers and martyrs all the way down the years?”
There is little doubt Anthony Hopkins has a love for Jesus Christ. In a little-known interview with the Romanian press, the journalist challenged Hopkins by asking, “Doesn’t doubt breed fear in the hearts of religious people?”
“No, no,” Hopkins began. “Who’s the man two thousand years ago, when they were going to stone the woman caught in adultery, they were going to stone her to death. And that man two thousand years ago said, ‘Cast ye the first stone who has not sinned,’” he declared. “He liked the sinners, the drunks, and the prostitutes. He hung around with them because He knew they were vulnerable human beings…and came along and gave them light.”
Later in that same interview, Hopkins is asked who he credits for him being a successful actor, and he once again quotes the Bible. “The guy said two thousand years ago: ‘Of myself I am nothing, it is the Father who within doeth the works’… the kingdom of heaven within,” Hopkins said. “I can’t take credit for anything.”
The actor also put a heavy emphasis on humility and suffering in one’s life as “the key to unlock seeking a Divine being.” It appears that Anthony Hopkins has been on a lifelong journey of faith that started in the despairs of alcoholism, and inside that suffering and bearing that cross, he turned to the light of God.