Sir Anthony Hopkins is one of the most well-known actors of our time. For years, he was a well-known atheist, too. But all of that changed when a woman at an AA meeting challenged his disbelief with one, simple question. That was the beginning of the inspiring Anthony Hopkins testimony!
No matter how successful someone may seem from the outside, we all have our own internal struggles. During the earlier years of Anthony Hopkins’ career, he found himself in his own battle with alcoholism. Anthony’s addiction started “innocently.” He adopted a worldly mindset and drank because “that's what you do in theater, you drink." But as is the case too often, the social pastime soon took over his life. By 1975, Anthony’s drinking had spiraled out of control. "I was hell-bent on destruction," the award-winning actor recalled. "It was like being possessed by a demon, an addiction, and I couldn't stop. And there are millions of people around like that.”
Sir Anthony Hopkins realized he needed help. So, he turned to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Up until then, Anthony Hopkins had been an atheist. But during an AA meeting, a woman asked him a simple question. "Why don't you just trust in God?" It’s not something Anthony 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," Anthony Hopkins recalled. Miraculously, Anthony says 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.”
Years after finding faith, Anthony Hopkins is regarded as one of the greatest actors of our time. In fact, he earned the title of Sir Anthony Hopkins when Queen Elizabeth knighted him in 1993, for his contributions to the performing arts. As such an esteemed actor, Anthony was invited to speak to a crowd of nearly 500 high school and college students at the annual Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Your Potential conference (LEAP). And he shared with them the dangers of confirming to the world. “If you chase the money, it’s not gonna work. And if you chase success, it’s not gonna work.”
In fact, in a separate interview, Anthony opened up about how unfulfilling success alone is: You know, I meet young people, and they want to act and they want to be famous,” and I tell them, when you get to the top of the tree, there's nothing up there. Most of this is nonsense, most of this is a lie. Accept life as it is. Just be grateful to be alive." After sharing how he was saved from the depths of alcoholism, Anthony Hopkins explained the power our words and our beliefs have over our lives. He also touched on how God can use anything, even our biggest messes, for good. “I believe that we are capable of so much,” Anthony said to the students. “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. ... 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.”
While Anthony Hopkins has, at times, played characters who are truly evil, the actor lives out his real life with Christ in his heart. He’s been an atheist before finding God and now he just feels sorry for atheists, comparing a life of disbelief to “living in a closed cell with no windows."
"I'd hate to have to live like that, wouldn't you?” Sir Anthony Hopkins asked. What a beautiful reminder the Anthony Hopkins testimony was of the hope we have through Jesus!