Anthony Hopkins is living proof that personal and public success are not always intertwined.

Hopkins, now 80, opened up about his struggles with alcohol during his days in theatre. “That’s what you do in theatre, you drink,” the Oscar-winning actor told students during a special conversation with the Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Your Potential (LEAP) Foundation.

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In fact, Hopkins did not have a passion for the performing arts when he got started. He only began acting because he “had nothing better to do,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He admitted he “was very difficult to work with, as well, because I was usually hungover.” Ultimately he found the solution in Dec. 1975 during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

A woman asked Hopkins, “why don’t you just trust in God?” Hopkins recalled. From there on, his desire to drink left his body “never to return.”

But his message to nearly 500 high school and college students was not necessarily one of the gospel, it was one of open-mindedness. He urged students to say “yes” to opportunities.

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“I believe that we are capable of so much,” Hopkins said. “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,” he continued. “None of it was a mistake. It was all a destiny.”

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