Life’s so short and such glorious images in the world and such horror as well that I want to see it all.
I know people who live in the past, they just live back there all the time, talk about something that happens to them 30 years ago, they’re like zombies.
Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid and I believe that about everything.
We have to make our lives because life is tough, we have to believe in the power of life.
Evan: He’s a Welsh actor on film, stage and television.
He’s considered to be one of the world’s greatest living actors and is most well known for his role as Hannibal Lecter in the Silence of the Lambs.
Every thing you need to find him is right there in those pages.
Since 2016 he’s starred in the critically acclaimed HBO series, Westworld.
He’s Anthony Hopkins and here’s my take on his top 10 rules to success.
Rule number one is my personal favorite and I’m super curious to figure out which one you guys like the best. Also as you’re watching the clips if you hear something that really resonates with you please it down in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired as well when you write something down it’s much more likely to stick with you too. Enjoy.
Rule #1: Move Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Do something new, you know you’ve got to, you can’t stay in your comfort zone, that’s what we all do. We get to a certain age and we all stay in our comfort zone in our recliners watching television, day in and day out, and when you get to a certain age, I’m going to be 70 at the end of the year, why sit around watching television for the rest of my life cause I’ve done it all, sitting on my laurel wreaths.
It’s not worth it, I mean life’s so short and such glorious images in the world, and such horror as well, that I want to see it all, so I’ve moved out of my comfort zone. It’s essential for me, otherwise I may as well die.
“Do something new, you know you’ve got to, you can’t stay in your comfort zone, that’s what we all do.” – Anthony Hopkins
So I’ve done it, I’ve broken every rule in the book, and not out of malice or any telling anyone that I’ll show you, I did it to show myself. I’ve shown myself, I looked in the mirror and thought, I’ll show you one day and I’ve done something completely new, I wrote the music and feel limitless.
Rule #2: Visualize Success
Once I got started with two magicians and one ventriloquist helped me, once I got the knack of it, it became easier and then I enjoyed it. There were moments when I was learning the script and I thought well this isn’t going to work, I mean, how can I do it?
I used to write notes to myself, little letters to myself and put them on the desk saying, you know, “You can do anything, “with faith you can move mountains. “Trust and let go.” and all that sort of thing, you know and I just threw myself into it and when the negatives came to my mind I would, I would make positive sounds in my head, I’d say I can do it, you know.
I used to meditate and visualize myself doing it. I still visualize myself on like a kind of, trying to visual myself doing those sort of fanning cards and spinning them and gradually, it’s surprising the power of mind, what happens you know, your muscles begin to respond. It’s like anything really, if you’re playing the piano or driving the car, it comes through relaxation.
“I just threw myself into it and when the negatives came to my mind I would, I would make positive sounds in my head, I’d say I can do it” – Anthony Hopkins
Rule #3: Don’t Live In The Past
Audience Member: Your approach to life, has it changed through your acting experience?
“I know people who live in the past, they just live there all the time, talk about something that happens to them 30 years ago. They’re like zombies and I can’t hang out with those people” – Anthony Hopkins
Yes, whether you just get older and you live long enough you change, if you don’t you may as well die. You know, go or grow, you have to change and I’ve realized over the years that I’ve gone through many changes in my life. Many changes, because that’s the nature of life and if you don’t go with it you may as well die, really, you may as well be dead.
I know people who live in the past, they just live there all the time, talk about something that happens to them 30 years ago. They’re like zombies and I can’t hang out with those people, I know them but I can’t spend more than five minutes with them because I feel like suicide at the end of it because I feel so guilty about being happy when they’re so miserable.
Because life is in session, for many years I thought life was a big rehearsal for the big event and somebody in Los Angeles said, “Tony, this is the big event, life is in session.” You know we spend so much time thinking into rehearsal for the big event, the big, red carpet in the sky and there’s not.
Rule #4: Keep Doing It
All life is magical, it is magic you see because we’re the instruments and all the problems are technical, once you can go through those problems without avoiding them or backing off from them, because you know it’s like fear, you go through it, you go through the problem, confront it and go through it, then you have release.
Stanislavsky called it the plane of inspiration that takes off the runway, the runway is the technique, the runway is the getting on with it and the plane will take off. If on Tuesday night however it doesn’t quite take off, it doesn’t matter, you can’t stop the plane and say, “Well I’ll go back cause I don’t feel it tonight.”
You get on with it technically and then on Wednesday night, probably it’s going to take off again as long as you’re relaxed. But it really is, it’s kind of being on automatic pilot, and I think it comes after experience, I think it comes. And I think I feel in a happy state of mind now that I have 15 years or 20 years of experience behind me and I think it’s used well and there’s a lot of positive out of all the anguish and the pain and discomfort and there have been good times and there have been negative times.
But Olivier said once, when he was directing Colin Blakely in June and the Peacock and I was in June and the Peacock and he said, “You have to find the middle man.” And Blakely said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Find the middle man, “that ease of playing a character.” And Blakely said, “I only have until next week.” And he said, “You won’t do it next week, “it’ll take you the rest of your life.”
And it’s really relaxing and letting go. You know the booster that puts you into outer orbit, the aggression, the arrogance and the ambition and all that, that’s all very necessary, but there’s a time when one has to let go and I guess I’m in orbit and all I have to do is rest assured that it’s going to be okay and do what is required of me, you know.
Keep in practice, keep working, I’m going back to the theater, I want to go back to the theater. And I’m being kind to myself, that’s all I can say really, then the magic happens, Scofield is right, you get on with it, John Dexter told me in New York, he said, “Just get on with it, don’t analyze, do it.”
Rule #5: Enjoy What You Do
Interviewer: What’s the most important quality that an actor, a great actor like you, should have? What’s the most important quality, apart from intelligence, I suppose, but?
“I always tell that to young actors I’m working with, Enjoy it, stop figuring it all out, just enjoy it” – Anthony Hopkins
Well, I’m going to be modest, I’m a working actor, I just go from job to job and I think there’s, I have a sense of discipline and commitment to it and all those American words, but, know what you’re doing and I have fun with it.
I always tell that to young actors I’m working with, I say, enjoy it, stop figuring it all out, just enjoy it. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and if you do something bad it doesn’t matter and you do something which may be good, that’s good, but don’t worry about it it’s all part of life’s process.
Rule #6: Be Bold
Interviewer: Nixon must of been one of the most difficult roles you ever played?
Rose, that was a nightmare role to play, yes. I got a phone call in England many years ago and my agent said, “Oliver Stone wants to talk to you.” and I said, “Oliver Stone, what does he want me for?” He said, “For Nixon.” I said, “Nixon?” Well he said, “President Nixon.” I said, “What part?”
He said, “President Nixon.” I said “For President Nixon, are you crazy?” I said, “No, he must be mad.” And he phoned me up and he said, “Well, I hear you’re chicken, you don’t want to do it.” I said, “Well, I don’t want to do you a disservice.”
“I believe that be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid and I believe that about everything, you know, so I don’t do anything that’s conventional.” – Anthony Hopkins
He said, “Well I’m coming into London anyway “at the beginning of next week so lets meet anyway “even though you don’t want to do it.” I said, “Okay.” So I was on my way to the hotel to meet him and I had that moment of clarity when I, in the middle of Hyde Park, and I thought I can either work with this great American director, make a complete idiot of myself, or I can stay safe here in Britain working for the BBC, go off to Hungary to make a Dostoevsky film or something, something boring like that.
And you know stay happy for the rest of my life and die of a heart attack and that’ll be the end of it, but I thought well, I’ll just do something that’s really challenging. So I met Oliver Stone for breakfast that very morning, and half an hour later I said, “I’ll do it.” He said, “Great.” So there we were and I believe that be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid and I believe that about everything, you know, so I don’t do anything that’s conventional.
Rule #7: Don’t Chase Perfectionism
When I approached magic I just showed up, I did a lot of preparation, all I have to do is be ready I guess and I try to apply it to my life now and I just have to get ready, you know.
I just have to do what is asked of me and do as much as I can without driving myself insane, because there’s a negative side of perfectionism. In my nature anyway, I can only speak for myself.
There’s a negative flaw and that is a very dangerous trap and I think that one of the biggest killers is ego and whence the negative side of perfectionism, when one starts playing God, you know, and I mean literally, that it is a killer, that it is a lethal part of one owns ego.
Rule #8: Prove It To Yourself
“I came over to America I made a couple of good films and some not so good films, but I wanted to make a statement for myself on this one, not for anyone, but for myself, to prove it to myself that I had that in me.” – Anthony Hopkins
I went to the movies and I saw Brando and I became an actor. I saw James Dean and I always felt I wanted to be like that, but I thought I’m stuck with a funny accent in this place in Britain and then I read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and I read Look Homeward Angel, I was about 19 or 20, something like that and I had this taste for America.
And I had this taste for rebellion and the darkness and so this is what I wanted to do more than anything and when I came over to America I made a couple of good films and some not so good films, but I wanted to make a statement for myself on this one, not for anyone, but for myself, to prove it to myself that I had that in me.
I’m going to be 70 at the end of the year, that I had that something so off the wall and wacko that I could put it on screen some how and that’s why I did it.
Rule #9: #Believe In The Power Of Life
I don’t know if believe in anything, I mean what deity, but I believe whatever that thing is that we talk about for centuries, I think it’s just within us.
I mean remarkable things have happened in my life by just wishing or asking for something, for a bit of help here and I don’t believe, I’m an agnostic I guess. I say, is there anyway you can help me, or whatever?
And there’s something inside that will respond I believe, I really believe that. We have to make our lives because life is tough, we have to believe in the power of life.
Rule #10: Have Fun
Ellen: Now, okay let’s talk about this movie. You’re a priest, then you’re trying to convince this guy that doesn’t really believe and then all of a sudden you become possessed-
Anthony: That’s right.
Ellen: By the devil. You are a good devil. You are. I mean that in the kindest way.
Anthony: Yeah, thank you my dear.
Ellen: I mean really you play a bad guy so good, when you turned, cause your character’s not like that for the first part of the movie.
Anthony: He’s a good man.
Ellen: Then all of a sudden you’re-
Anthony: Suddenly he becomes nuts.
Ellen: And then suddenly you become very-
Anthony: Yeah, very strange. I don’t know why they cast me in these parts? I have no idea.
Anthony: But I mean I’ve no idea because I’m not like that at all.
Ellen: See look, just doing that is scary to me.
Anthony: I’ve got a technique, I don’t know what it is, I honestly don’t know, seriously. People say how do you do that? I have no idea, I just do it.
Ellen: Like right now, just look at the camera and make a scary, scary face.
Ellen: That’s really creepy.
Anthony: You just deaden the eyes, that’s all.
Ellen: Yeah, it is.
Anthony: Don’t blink, but I don’t know, it’s called acting I guess. But I’m not like that inside, at all. Not at all.
Life is just terrific, I travel the world and I’m still working and working with some interesting people and people think it’s, you know, a dream.
But there are problems, you know I pay a few people to help me and, my wife has a friend called Juan Arias and she called him Johnny on the spot, my wife Stella, Johnny on the spot, means Johnny on the spot, except this guy is rarely on the spot, sometimes you can’t even find him, he’s supposed to be my personal assistant.
Can you believe that? I pay him lots of money, it’s really shocking, but well that’s life I guess. Be quiet cause I’ll introduce you, I’ll show you Johnny on the spot.
There you are. That’s him, that’s Johnny on the spot, paid a lot of money and he’s useless, useless. My cat Niblo would be a better assistant, but what can you do, you win them all, my life’s not perfect you know, I don’t know how to get rid of him, but anyway, that’s John, first-class private travel, private hotel rooms, all the women hug him on set, they don’t even know who I am, but anyway that’s life. It’s not all roses in the movie business. Yeah, that was good.
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Kendrick Bowman asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it down in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do.
I’d also love to know what did you learn from Anthony Hopkins today that you’re going to apply in immediately to your life or your business? What was your favorite rule and why? Leave it the comments, I’m going to join in the discussion.
Finally I want to give a quick shout out to the LonelyBookaneer, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word and taking that picture and posting it to Instagram, those cookies look delicious and I really, really appreciate your support. So thank you guys again for watching, I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is, much love. I’ll see you soon.
Don’t Try To Control Life
What has happened in some strange circuitous way on this journey through life is that I’ve become more at peace with myself. I suppose we compensate for our lives, for our lacks, if we choose to, because I felt so lacking as a child and in my adolescent years and early adult years I through anger, resentment or drive or ambition or whatever, I found my way, somehow.
“You make certain choices and you go along and you, you know, you chart the rapids and the rocks and the shallows and the depths and so on and so forth, but you can’t really control your destiny, you can’t really control things, you just have to let go and follow it.” – Anthony Hopkins
I don’t actually believe I did it totally on my own, I believe in some power of life that is in us. I’m a fatalist, I believe in destiny, I believe if we relax and let go enough and actually do believe that our lives our none of our business and open up then extraordinary things begin to happen.
I suppose you could be calling them spiritual surrender or something of the sort, now when we try to, I mean my agent many, many years ago, I had an agent once, very nice chap but he said, “We’ve got to plan your career.” I mean that sent me running out the door, you can’t plan your life.
No, I wouldn’t care for that.
You make certain choices and you go along and you, you know, you chart the rapids and the rocks and the shallows and the depths and so on and so forth, but you can’t really control your destiny, you can’t really control things, you just have to let go and follow it.
You might also like
More from Anthony Hopkins
What's up, Believe Nation! So for the past few months, I've been putting together a list of my favorite rules, taking …