Sir Anthony Hopkins has celebrated 47 years of sobriety and told his fans to “be kind to yourself” in a touching new year message.
The 84-year-old Oscar-winning actor has spoken candidly about recovering from alcoholism in a video posted on Instagram.
In the video, captioned “Wishing everyone a healthy 2023”, Sir Anthony said: “Hello everyone, I just want to wish everyone a happy new year and also to say I’m celebrating 47 years today of sobriety.
“But this is a message not meant to be heavy, but I hope helpful.
“I am a recovering alcoholic and to you out there, I know there are people struggling in this day and age of cancel and hatred and long compromise, children being bullied.
“I say to this, be kind to yourself, be kind. Stay out of the circle of toxicity with people if they offend you.
“Live your life, be proud of your life.
“47 years ago, I was in a desperate situation and despair and probably not long to live.
“And I just happened to acknowledge one day that there was something really wrong with me. But I didn’t realise that it was a kind of condition. A mental, physical, emotional condition called alcoholism or addiction.
“I’m not an expert on drugs. I’m not an expert on anything. I know nothing, except that I have found a life where no one bullies me.
“I will say to all you young people who are being bullied, take heed, you be proud of yourself. Don’t listen to them, don’t let yourself be put down.
“Depression is part of being alive sometimes, and anxiety, life is tough.”
Sir Anthony, who was was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama in 1993, went on to encourage any of his 3.9 million Instagram followers struggling with addiction to engage in the 12-step recovery programme and praised the free and accessible nature of the recovery programme, saying “it will give you a whole new life”.
He added: “All I can say is that I have the best life I could ever imagine and I can’t even take credit for it.
“So wherever you are, get help. Don’t be ashamed. Be proud of yourselves, whatever you do, don’t let anyone put you down.
“Don’t let anyone put you down. If you’re going to be angry, be angry. Don’t let anyone put you down.
“Celebrate yourself as I do myself, although I know nothing. Lots of love to you.”
A number of famous faces left positive responses to the video, with actor Hugh Jackman commenting: “Well said!”
While model Naomi Campbell thanked The Silence Of The Lambs star, writing: “Thank you Sir @anthonyhopkins you are shining beacon of light , you inspire me on my journey in recovery,” to which Sir Anthony replied: “One day at a time, dear.”
In 1992 Sir Anthony won the Oscar for best actor for his performance as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs.
He scooped a second Academy Award for best actor in 2021 for The Father, becoming the oldest nominee and winner of the award.