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Anthony Hopkins shares the life-changing advice Katharine Hepburn gave him

In Europe
June 09, 2024

Silence of the Lambs actor Anthony Hopkins has shared the life-changing advice that Hollywood star Katharine Hepburn once shared with him.

The 86-year-old began his acting career in 1960, and has gone on to win multiple accolades for his performances, including two Oscars, four Bafta awards, two Primetime Emmys, and a Laurence Olivier award.

Now the Remains of the Day star, who is starring in forthcoming movie Freud’s Last Session, has shared the crucial advice he received that he says allowed him to survive the movie industry.

He admitted he had been “arrogant” in his early career, but that changed after starring alongside Hepburn in the Oscar-winning 1968 historical drama, The Lion in the Winter. Hopkins played Richard the Lionheart while Hepburn played his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Henry II’s estranged queen.

“When I was young, I was ambitious, arrogant,” he said in an interview with The Times.

“Then you come to a point when you think, ‘Cool down. It’s not important.’ Katharine Hepburn told me that. She said, ‘Remember, it’s just popcorn.’”

He added that he now ensures he doesn’t take the work too seriously.

“I try not to take acting seriously at all. It’s a job I do. I can’t get intense about it, but I do work hard,” he said.

“I can’t even say ‘hard’. But I do work thoroughly to get it right. I’m not dismissing films — God knows I can’t, it’s given me a life, but I enjoy film because it’s easy.”

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Reflecting on his journey from being the son of a baker and pub landlady in Port Talbot, Wales, to leaving college in 1957 and acting alongside Peter O’Toole and Hepburn 10 years later, Hopkins said he was in awe of the life he has lived.

“How that happened I don’t know. No idea. None of it makes any sense to me and therefore I can’t take credit for any of it. What was the power in me that pushed me to this business? I do not know, but there was a voice that said, ‘OK, fasten your seatbelt.’ And I’ve had a most phenomenal life.”

The Hannibal star celebrated 48 years of sobriety in December last year as he shared a message of hope for those struggling with alcoholism.

“If you get a hangover, remember me. I don’t get them anymore because 48 years ago today, I stopped. I got help for it and my life changed.”

He continued: “I don’t envy you having fun out there, but if you need help, there’s a time. Life is in session. Go for it.”

Freud’s Last Session is out on Friday (14 June).

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