Sir Anthony Hopkins attends the LEAP Foundation on July 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Image Credit: AFP

A message of hope and resilience ahead of the new year has come from an unlikely source — a video by veteran actor Anthony Hopkins where he marks 45 years of sobriety.

In it, a cheerful Hopkins commiserated with viewers about a difficult 2020 and offered his story of overcoming a personal challenge.

“It’s been a tough year, full of grief and sadness for many, many, many people,” he said in the video posted on Twitter. “But 45 years ago today I had a wake-up call. I was heading for disaster. I was drinking myself to death. I got a message, a little thought, that said, ‘Do you want to live or die?’ I said I wanted to live. And suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing.”

During a 2018 event where he was a chief guest, the actor spoke about his alcoholism saying he had been “disgusted, busted and not to be trusted” while he was drinking.

He was inspired to turn his life around after getting advice from a woman at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in December 1975.

In his video, the 82-year-old actor, best known for his role as Hannibal Lecter in 1991 movie ‘Silence of the Lambs’, encouraged people to have hope for the future.

“I have my off days and sometimes little bits of doubt and all that,” he said. “But, all in all I say, hang in there. Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday.”

“You young people, don’t give up,” he added. “Just keep in there. Just keep fighting. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. That’s sustained me through my life.”

Hopkins, who turns 83 on December 31, ended the video on another positive note, saying: “This is going to be the best year.”

We really hope so!