Anthony Hopkins says he broke free of alcoholism when someone told him to try trusting God

Anthony Hopkins in The Rite | (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Speaking at a conference in California, Academy award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins, who has starred in films like "The Remains of the Day," frankly discussed his longtime fight with alcoholism and how "trust in God" helped him overcome it and saved his life and career.

"Because that's what you do in theater, you drink," the 80-year-old Welsh actor told around 500 students at the University of California, Los Angeles this week. "But I was very difficult to work with, as well, because I was usually hungover," added Hopkins, who was a guest speaker at the 11th annual Leap (Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Your Potential) conference, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In December 1975, when he was "disgusted, busted and not to be trusted," as he described his condition at the time, he met a woman at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting who asked him, "Why don't you just trust in God?"

Hopkins, who was knighted in 1993 for services to the arts and is seen as one of the world's greatest living actors, said his craving for alcohol was taken from him, "never to return."

"I believe that we are capable of so much," he told 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."

The actor, who currently lives in Malibu near Los Angeles with his actress wife, Stella Arroyave, warned the audience against running after money or success.

"If you chase the money, it's not gonna work. And if you chase success, it's not gonna work," he said. "You just have to chase whatever you want to be, but live it as if it is happening now. Act as if you're already there, and it'll fall into place."

Hopkins, who will play the role of Pope Benedict in Netflix's upcoming drama "The Pope," said he started acting because he "had nothing better to do."

Hopkins won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992, for the role of Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs." He was later nominated three times. He has also won three BAFTA Awards, two Emmys and the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

This article was originally published in The Christian Post  and is re-published here with permission