Anthony Hopkins opens up about alcohol addiction and finding God

He is known to be the iconic face of evil, but Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins recently showed another side of himself when he spoke about his faith in God.

Published 10 February 2011

The 73-year-old actor, perhaps most famous for his portrayal of cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, sat down with CNN’s Piers Morgan to talk about his acting career and the day he decided to believe in God.

Without hesitation Morgan asked, “Do you believe in God?” To which Hopkins replied, “Yes, I do. I do.”

Hopkins explained that about 35 years ago he felt the need for God while he was going through a crisis and prayed to Him even though he considered himself at the time to be an atheist.

“I was hell bent on destruction. And I just asked for a little bit of help, and suddenly, pow. It was just like, bingo,” recalled Hopkins.

He said that while in New York he 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. And millions of people around like that. I could not stop.”

Out of desperation, Hopkins asked for help and a woman told him to just trust in God.

“And I said, well, why not? And was such a quantum leap from this to that.”

The celebrated actor said it is “nonsense” for him to think that he can do anything and conquer anything on his own. Instead he pointed to his character, Father Lucas, in the new movie “The Rite,” who says he is weak, powerless and doesn’t know anything.

“The priest says that’s humility,” said Hopkins, who plays a priest that does exorcism in his latest movie.

Hopkins revealed in the interview that he was nervous about taking on the role that again depicted him as a “weirdo.”

He said, “I looked at the script and I thought I don’t want to do another weirdo, because I’m not – wasn’t quite sure.”

Although he was reluctant to play an exorcist, he decided to take the part because of the idea behind the film.

“I liked the idea that it was based on a true story and that he (director) didn’t want to do anything strange with it, you know, spinning heads and things and all that,” the veteran actor explained.

“The Rite,” directed by Mikael Hafsroem – who previously made the Stephen King adaptation of “1408” – was ranked No. 1 at the box office after its opening weekend at the end of January.


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