THE HOPKINS METHOD
His formula for great living? Don’t be so damned precious
For being such a legend, Anthony Hopkins isn’t one for pretence when young actors seek his advice: “Do the best you can,” he tells them. “Have fun. Don’t fret about it too much.” That has worked for Hopkins, 79, who’s still enjoying high-profile roles ( Transformers:
The Last Knight, another round of Thor and Westworld). His life is worthy of reflection, but he’s having too much fun to bother.
MEN’S HEALTH: This is your 50th year in film. Is this how you foresaw things turning out? ANTHONY HOPKINS: I can’t account for any of my life or success or whatever you want to call it. I had no ambitions like that at all. But sometimes you get to a door and you get lucky and it opens. I’m not into all this “if you visualise a big house you’ll get it” stuff. I don’t believe that. I’m very pragmatic about it. I accept that we’re frail human beings. Nothing is definite, nothing is foreseeable and only a few things are in our control. I keep my nose clean, stay healthy and have a good attitude toward people. Avoid uniqueness, exceptionalism and entitlement. I think it’s your responsibility to live the best you can, be kind, generous, helpful and have a bit of fun with it. You’re on Twitter now – 118,000 followers! Mark Wahlberg put me on it. We were on set and he asks me, “Want to be on social media?” I say, “What’s that?” So my first tweet was a clip of me standing next to Mark and not knowing what the hell it was about. Your posts are very positive. That’s rare for Twitter.
Last Valentine’s Day we were at the farmer’s market and my wife took a video of me. I recited a poem, wished people well, and that’s how I do it. Everyone on the internet is so uptight and miserable. You’re going to be dead one day. Enjoy life.
Your painting is part of that?
This week I painted every day. I do it for the colour. To see what comes out of my brain. The late Stan Winston, a great artist – his team created the Jurassic Park dinosaurs – told me, “Don’t train! Just paint.” So that’s what I do.
You’ve done lots of Shakespeare. Leave us with a quote?
There’s one from Hamlet: “The readiness is all.” He’s getting ready for death. But forget death, that’s life. Be ready.
Don’t worry, be happy, this icon says.