Sir Anthony Hopkins says realising he is "unimportant" in the world provided him with the "single greatest moment of freedom" of his life
The 83-year-old actor – who recently celebrated 45 years of sobriety - feels comforted by the fact he’s just the same as everyone else on the planet
4 March 2021
Speaking to The Sunday Times magazine, he said: “On my first day free of booze, a friend asked, ‘How do you feel?’ I said, inadequate. And then it hit me that of course we all are.
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“None of us is of any importance at all. In this vast multi-universe where we all exist, we are nothing. It goes back to Socrates — I know that I know nothing. That was the single greatest moment of freedom I have ever felt.”
Hopkins thinks more about death as he’s getting older, “but not morbidly”.
He added: “I just hope I’m at peace with everything when the time comes.”
The screen legend plays a dementia sufferer in his latest movie ‘The Father’, which brought back memories of his own dad’s final days and the realisation that everyone is “desperately alone” at the end.
He said: “I remember this once strong, robust man, declining and depressed — and fearful. He was irritable and irascible, he didn’t want fuss, and I’m a bit like that.
“I looked at the photograph of me with my two daughters on the bedside table on the [film] set and the radio and the little notepad and I knew what he felt at the end. The fear. The unutterable bleakness and sadness and loneliness.
“We all pretend not to be, but we’re all lonely. Success is all fine, it’s a way to survive, but at the end, we’re all desperately, desperately alone. And that is the most painful and eloquent thing for me.”
And making the film has taught him a lesson on the “fragility of life” and made him less judgemental.
'The Silence of the Lambs' star said: “It’s made me more aware of mortality and the fragility of life, and it’s made me judge people less. We’re all fragile, we’re all broken.
“We can point fingers and condemn other people — it’s so easy because the world is a madhouse — I try to keep my mouth shut and enjoy life as best as I can.”