190 Anthony Hopkins Quotes on Life and Acting

These Anthony Hopkins quotes will inspire you to keep reaching for your dreams, no matter how hard the road gets.

Anthony Hopkins is a British-American actor, director, and producer from Wales. He is famous for receiving the title of Knight Bachelor from Queen Elizabeth II.

The actor came a long way from his humble beginnings, from being a high school dropout to a significant theater and acting icon. Find out how his philosophy in life helped him reach his dreams by reading this list!

Read the entire collection below.

And don’t forget to check out these Jack Nicholson quotes and Leonardo DiCaprio quotes.

Best Anthony Hopkins Quotes 

1. “Life is tough, but you just have to just get out of bed. Get out and do it.” 

2. “My philosophy is, it’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything, and it makes life so much easier.” 

3. “We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think, think, think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.” 

4. “Non-expectation, non-acceptance because the expectation leads to resentment and depression, so I have no expectations.”

5. “Today is the tomorrow I was worried about yesterday.” 

6. “We all dream. We dream vividly, depending on our nature. Our existence is beyond our explanation, whether we believe in God or we have religion, or we’re atheists. Our existence is beyond our understanding. No one has an answer.”

7. “I don’t care. If they don’t like it, they don’t like it, but I do it for the fun of it.”

8. “Life’s too short to deal with other people’s insecurities.”

9. “Guilt is the thief of life.”

10. “There is no shortcut to happiness. You have to live your life.”

11. “I love life because what more is there?”

12. “I’m fascinated by the dream world we live in, in our dreaming, sleep, dreaming, and that moment of pre-sleep when the subconscious mind whirls up.”

13. “My life turned out to be beyond my greatest dreams.”

14. “I’m fascinated by the fact that we can’t grasp anything about time.”

15. “People don’t always tell you what they are thinking. They just see to it that you don’t advance in life.”

Inspirational Anthony Hopkins Quotes

16. “Relish everything that’s inside of you, the imperfections, the darkness, the richness, and light, and everything, and that makes for a full life.”

17. “If you don’t go when you want to go, when you do go, you’ll find you’ve gone.”

18. “Getting old ain’t for the faint of heart.”

19. “I am able to play monsters well. I understand monsters. I understand mad men.” 

20. “At my age, any day above ground and vertical is a good day.”

21. “In certain moments of our lives, we get little signals, little flashes that say, ‘It’s yours if you want it.'”

22. “When you’re young, you’re very insecure, and if I could learn, if I could revisit my own past, I could say to myself, ‘Don’t think too much, just get on and do it.'”

23. “Living with reality is a very good trick. It gives you tremendous freedom, and it changes the structure of molecules of your soul by living through reality because you don’t expect anything anymore, which is a weird paradox.”

24. “I’ve reached a happy stage in my life. You can call it happy, but I have no expectations anymore.”

25. “I’m interested in the dream and subconscious mind, the peculiar dream-like quality of our lives, sometimes, nightmare quality of our lives.”

26. “Life is so short, and such glorious images in the world, and such horror as well, but I want to see it all. So I moved out of my comfort zone.”

27. “Once you begin to fall off the track and believe you breathe different air to everyone else, you’re doomed. You’re finished.”

28. “We get questions in our head and little voices that put us down when we were kids, so get over that. That’s all I’ve had to do.”

29. “You reach a point in life where you just think, ‘Show up, do your job, make sure the cheque’s on the way,’ and that’s it. I’m not hungry to do anything more, really.”

30. “Let go of people who aren’t ready to love you yet! Stop giving your love to them.”

Anthony Hopkins Quotes on Life

31. “I once asked a Jesuit priest what was the best short prayer he knew. He said, ‘Fuck it.’ As in, ‘Fuck it, it’s in Gods hands.'”

32. “We all sell ourselves to some degree, I think.”

33. “Stop hard conversations with people who don’t want to change.”

34. “The magical, supernatural force that is with us, every second, is time. We can’t even comprehend it. It’s such an illusion. It’s such a strange thing.”

35. “Stop showing up for people who are indifferent to your presence.”

36. “Everything is random, and there are no guarantees.”

37. “Beware the tyranny of the weak. They just suck you dry.”

38. “You mellow out, and you just don’t take things too seriously.”

39. “If I spent all my time criticizing myself, I wouldn’t be able to function. There are actors who theorize ’till the cows come home. I haven’t the patience for them. It’s maybe shallow, but that’s why I’ll never be part of the acting set.”

40. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

41. “It’s very difficult to liberate yourself from what you’ve learned. You know it’s almost impossible because you learn in order to survive.”

42. “We’re all caught up in circumstances, and we’re all good and evil. When you’re really hungry, for instance, you’ll do anything to survive. I think the most evil thing, well, maybe that’s too strong, but certainly, a very evil thing is judgment, the sin of ignorance.”

43. “I don’t want to be anything else other than what I am. I can say that with passion. No regrets.”

44. “I think the healthy way to live is to make friends with the beast inside oneself, and that means not the beast but the shadow. The dark side of one’s nature. Have fun with it, and you know, is to accept everything about ourselves.”

45. “You look closely enough, you’ll find that everything has a weak spot where it can break, sooner or later.”

Anthony Hopkins Quotes That Will Enlighten You on Dreams and Reality

46. “If you don’t follow through on your dreams, you might as well be a vegetable.”

47. “You are not responsible for saving people.”

48. “The truth is that you’re not for everyone.”

49. “I am a bit of a solitude person, a solitary personality. I like being on my own. I don’t have any major friendships or relationships with people.”

50. “We are fascinated by the darkness in ourselves, we are fascinated by the shadow, we are fascinated by the boogeyman.”

51. “I’m very realistic. Reality is a very liberating thing.”

52. “Once you accept the fact that there’s nothing to fear, you drill into the primal oil well.”

53. “I am not very good with relationships with anyone. I can’t be locked up with anyone for too long.”

54. “I always liked to take the plunge, you know, I’d jump in at the deep end, and hope that I’d find land somehow, or hope I’d float or survive. That’s more or less the way I’ve gone through my life.”

55. “I’ve had no contact with my daughter for years. That’s her choice. Anyway, you move on. If people don’t want to bother with me, fine. You know, God bless them, and move on.”

56. “It’s not your job to exist for people and give them your life, little by little, moment after moment.”

57. “I was bullied as a boy, lots of kids are, but hopefully, most of us get on with our lives and grow up.”

58. “I’m a pretty tough guy, you know. I’m a pretty hard man. I’ve got a lot of compassion, but I don’t waste time with people.”

59. “I don’t have many friends. I’m very much a loner. As a child, I was very isolated, and I’ve never been really close to anyone. I don’t like long relationships with people, and I always keep people at a distance.”

60. “I hope I would not be so arrogant as to doubt anyone’s religion or belief.”

Anthony Hopkins Quotes That Speak the Truth About the World

61. “It will be the kiss by which all others in your life will be judged and found wanting.”

62. “We’re always looking over our shoulders, ‘What they will think, what the press will think, what will this one, am I making the right career move?’ When you’re young, you have to do all that to survive, I suppose.”

63. “Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore, only the life I have lived. The pain now is part of the happiness then.”

64. “I think a certain amount of stress in life is good. The stress of just working, which takes effort, I think, it keeps you going.”

65. “I always distrust the art when it is applied to acting.”

66. “For me, time is the greatest mystery of all. The fact is that we’re dreaming all the time. That’s what really gets me. We have a fathomless lake of unconsciousness just beneath our skulls.”

67. “Women never really care to face the truth when their hearts are involved.”

68. “The whole point of courage is to overcome your fear. That’s the interesting thing when courage bleeds through the fear.”

69. “I know your instincts attempt everything to win the good mercy of those around you, but it’s also this impulse that will steal your time, energy, and mental, physical, and spiritual health.”

70. “That’s what happens if you don’t address the darkness in you.”

71. “By giving up ‘the need’ and ‘the want,’ things begin to happen for you.”

72. “We’re just blades of grass, and when we go, we go, we never come back.”

73. “Don’t look for the results, don’t live in the payoff. Live in the moment, which is a spiritual principle.”

74. “The reward is in the doing of it.”

75. “I believe when we do things without fear, we can do anything. As long as you don’t worry about the consequences.”

Anthony Hopkins Quotes to Help You Understand Acting and Theater

76. “In the theatre, people talk. Talk, talk until the cows come home about journeys of discovery and about what Hazlitt thought of a line of Shakespeare. I can’t stand it.”

77. “What I do is just go over, and over, and over my lines and learn the script so well that I can just be easy and relaxed. That’s the way I always work.”

78. “I love a scary movie. It makes your toes curl, and it’s not you going through it.”

79. “Acting is just a process of relaxation, actually. Knowing the text so well and trusting that the instinct and the subconscious mind, whatever you want to call it, is going to take over.”

80. “I think all those actors from that generation like Bogart, they were wonderful actors. They didn’t act. They just came on, and they did it, and the characters were wonderful.”

81. “Actors I admire? Ed Harris, of course, I think he’s terrific because I know he always had to fight being what he looked like a lot, but I think he’s a terrific actor.”

82. “I don’t know what acting is, but I enjoy it.”

83. “Acting’s entertainment. It’s not brain surgery.”

84. “I know that some actors and directors like to have intensity on set. I don’t, particularly. Certainly, if they want that, that’s fine, but I can’t work like that.”

85. “Oh, yes. I’m an actor, so I just learn my lines, and show up, and do it. I gave it a little bit of thought.”

86. “I can’t stand directors who try to micromanage everything. When it happens these days, I just walk off set, saying if they don’t like the way I’m doing it, they can get someone else.”

87. “People ask me, ‘How did you choose the part and how did you prepare for this work?’ I just learned the lines and showed up. I don’t know what else to say because that’s all I know how to do.”

88. “I’m not being cynical, but when you’re doing a movie, you have a number of choices to do as an actor. But then you see it all cut together, and some of the little, all those little precious pieces you put in may be on the cutting room floor. So you don’t have that much control. You have very little control, in fact.”

89. “The trick is not to get too fanatical about getting the accent too accurate because then that becomes a mask. What I try to do is just painting and sketching some of the sounds without obliterating my own voice.”

90. “I watched a film with a very famous, great, great actor, I won’t mention his name because everyone loves his memory, but I thought, ‘God, he was acting a lot.’ Great actor, but nonstop acting. Wall to wall, fitted-carpet acting.”

Witty Anthony Hopkins Quotes That Show His Character

91. “I have a punishing workout regimen. Every day, I do three minutes on a treadmill, then I lie down, drink a glass of vodka, and smoke a cigarette.”

92. “I’m devious, cruel, cunning, and addictive.”

93. “I’ve got no need to prove to myself that I can do Shakespeare. I’ve done it.”

94. “I’m not a health freak. I just work out every day.”

95. “Well, everyone likes movies when they’re a little kid.”

96. “I have dual citizenship. It just so happens I live in America. I would like to go back to Wales. I’m obsessed with my childhood, and at least, three times a week dream I am back there.”

97. “I have no interest in Shakespeare and all that British nonsense. I just wanted to get famous, and all the rest is hogwash.”

98. “I’m one of the slowest drivers on the road. I mosey along. If you’re doing anything too fast, including living life too fast, that creates sudden death. If I have to be somewhere on time, I make sure I leave early enough.”

99. “I like to take it easy.”

100. “People forget that Mozart wrote for commissions. There’s a thing in psychology where they think if it’s popular, it can’t be serious.”

101. “I don’t know why they gave me a knighthood, though it’s very nice of them, but I only ever use the title in the U.S. The Americans insist on it and get offended if I don’t.”

102. “People ask, ‘Should I call you Sir Hopkins?’ But I say, ‘No. Call me Tony,’ because it’s too much of a lift-up.”

103. “I tend to get bored quickly, which means I must be boring.”

104. “We have a Bosendorfer piano that I play every day. It keeps my brain and my fingers active.”

105. “Whether it’s overeating, or it’s overworking, or over-sex, or whatever it is, alcoholism, drug addiction, we push ourselves to the brink and then pull back because it’s kind of exciting.”

Anthony Hopkins Quotes About Himself

106. “I don’t have a vast longing for the stage.”

107. “I don’t believe in nepotism. I don’t much like the idea of parents who interfere.”

108. “I do admire Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, but I’m a philistine. I like the good life too much. I’m not good at going on stage night after night and on wet Wednesday afternoons.”

109. “I was called ‘Dumbo,’ like the elephant, as a child, because I couldn’t understand things at school.”

110. “I’m married. My wife, Stella, a beautiful woman. She’s brought a lot of peace to my life, a lot of wisdom.”

111. “I learn poetry, learn text, and that really keeps you alive.”

112. “I worked with Lawrence Olivier some years ago. He was a great mentor.”

113. “I’ve felt like an outsider all my life. It comes from my mother, who always felt like an outsider in my father’s family. She was a powerful woman, and she motivated my father.”

114. “I came here in 1974 to do a play, and then I went to L.A. I really like living in America. I feel more at home here than anywhere else.”

115. “I always had a knack for improvisation. I can write down the notes I play but never really had a proper academic musical background. I suppose I’m blessed and cursed by the fact I have that freedom.”

116. “I don’t have people following me around, like bodyguards. I don’t know how people live like that. Maybe the young movie stars have to live like that. I don’t know. But it seems a little crazy to me. I don’t think you need all that stuff.”

117. “I worked with Steven Spielberg on Amistad. He seemed so very secure in himself that he let me do things.”

118. “I worked at the Steel Company Of Wales when I was 17. My job was to supply tools to the guys working the blast furnaces.”

119. “I never make conscious decisions. If my agent says to me, ‘It’s a good script,’ I’ll do it. I don’t plan. I’ve got a lot of things to do. I’m at the roulette table, and my luck seems to be running at the moment. I might as well stay there until it runs out.”

120. “I read a lot. That’s my main hobby. I’ve got an iPad which I store books on, and I read voraciously. I’m a slow reader, but I’m obsessive. I make references, underline things, cross-reference. I’m an autodidact.”

Anthony Hopkins Quotes to Help You Learn About Art

121. “The art of acting is not to act. Once you show them more, what you show them, in fact, is bad acting.”

122. “I know that the arts are important, I’m not denying that, but I can’t associate myself with all the claptrap that goes on around it.”

123. “I play piano, and that’s my love. I read, and I paint, and I compose music, so I’ve got a pretty full creative life, and it’s not because I’m obsessively creative.”

124. “I’ve been composing music all my life, and if I’d been clever enough at school, I would like to have gone to music college.”

125. “I have no education, I have no academic background in painting or in music, but I write music, and I compose music, and I write, and I sell paintings.”

126. “A conductor can’t be too arrogant with an orchestra and try to impose himself too much.”

127. “I think the first British actor who really worked well in cinema was Albert Finney. He was a back-street Marlon Brando. He brought a great wittiness and power to the screen. The best actor we’ve had.”

128. “The knighthood was a tremendous honor. I don’t dismiss it. But I feel embarrassed by the flowery, theatrical stuff that goes with being an actor.”

129. “There is nothing to be scared of in movies. It’s a bit scarier going on stage.”

130. “Jonathan Demme is a very sharp editor of his movies.”

131. “The Welsh people have a talent for acting that one does not find in the English. The English lack heart.”

132. “I’m most suspicious of scripts that have a lot of stage direction at the top of the page, sunrise over the desert, and masses of a whole essay before you get to the dialogue.”

133. “If you do things, whether it’s acting, or music, or painting, do it without fear. That’s my philosophy. Because nobody can arrest you and put you in jail if you paint badly, so there’s nothing to lose.”

134. “I tried acting, liked it, and stuck with it. I saw it as the way I would keep that promise to myself of getting back at those who had made my school life a misery.”

135. “There’s no truth in acting. It’s all a trick because you go on stage in front of sets, you’re on film, it’s all a trick.”

Deep Anthony Hopkins Quotes on Show Business

136. “Acting is about listening and reacting. You don’t have to do much as long as you stay out of the way of others. That’s why it works.”

137. “Every time I try to retire, or even think of retiring from acting, my agent comes up with a script.”

138. “This industry has been really good to me. It’s been a great life. I’m not through yet. I’m ready when you are, Mr. DeMille.”

139. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘scared’ for my role as Hitchcock, but it was my most insecure. Taking on such a formidable, giant personality such as Hitchcock. He was one of the great geniuses of world cinema. Sheer genius.”

140. “What is so liberating about this whole business is when you see that big movies are going to come out, and then you see them up in Malibu in the little triplex theater a week later, and you think, this is show business. This is the great movie career, and it’s all funded in the shoe box.”

141. “I’m always cast in these strange men. That’s not me, really.”

142. “Richard Burton came from the same town as me, so I thought I’d follow my nose and follow my luck. I think I’ve been very lucky.”

143. “I remember coming to New York in 1974 to do a play here called ‘Equis,’ and I remember the first morning getting up and walking around the streets, and I thought, ‘I’m home.’ I felt really at peace here.”

144. “I have no illusions about my position in this world as an actor or anything like that.”

145. “I found a way into the acting business because I thought, well, it beats working for a living, and so that’s what I do. But I still feel like a bit of a stranger in it all.”

146. “Working with Katherine Hepburn, she said to me, ‘Don’t act.’ She said, ‘Read the lines. Just be. Just speak the lines.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ She said, ‘You look good. You got a good pair of shoulders, you got a good head, good face.'”

147. “Shakespeare’s so bloody difficult, and I don’t like failure. You can fail on film, but there’s nobody actually there in the flesh to watch you failing.”

148. “Ryan Gosling, he was a good kid, good actor. I like him very much. What was the name of the movie? I’ve forgotten it. Fracture.”

149. “I’ll do anything to keep everyone laughing. Things get too intense on film sets. I remember on The Elephant Man, I used to imitate a cat without moving my lips. David Lynch would say, ‘Cut! Sorry, we’ve got a noise somewhere on set.’ Everyone would be looking around for this cat.”

150. “I like to work. I don’t like to disrupt my equilibrium. I don’t like to change my head. I’d rather be a third-rate actor. It’s a job, and I’m dedicated in my way. I enjoy it. I’m serious about it, but if it doesn’t come off, I’m not going to die.”

Wise Anthony Hopkins Quotes That Will Give You Realizations

151. “I’ve never really belonged anywhere.”

152. “Decide you deserve a true friendship. Wait then, just a minute, and look how everything is starting to change.”

153. “I don’t like freeloaders. I don’t like people who are negative.”

154. “How do you play Hannibal Lector? Well, just don’t move. Scare people by being still.”

155. “I’m glad I’m not young anymore. I don’t want to start all over again.”

156. “A census taker once tried to test me.”

157. “Israel means war and destruction, and we Americans are behind this war, and I am ashamed of being American.”

158. “Multiply it by infinity, and take it to the depths of forever, and you will still have barely a glimpse of what I’m talking about.”

159. “I love the hour in makeup. It gives you time to think and have a cup of coffee. It’s my favorite part of the day.”

160. “Oh, the truth, oh yeah, lot of trouble that got us into, didn’t it, over the last maybe thousand years? Hitler knew the truth, so did Stalin, so did Mao Zedong, so did the Inquisition. They all knew the truth, and that caused such horror. Certainty is the enemy.”

161. “I don’t like mushiness. I’m a very emotional person, but I hate sentimentality. I don’t like great demonstrations of emotion. But as I’m getting older, I’m getting much more open about all that.”

162. “When I was a young guy, I knew everything. Now, I know very little. I know less and less as the time goes on.”

163. “I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had my problems in the past, I’ve had my troubles, but you move on. I had a great life, and I am really thankful for it.”

164. “There’s a thing that if you, somebody in faith is always troubled by doubt, and somebody by doubt is always wanted by faith. So it’s a kind of paradox.”

165. “My life has been a kind of mystery to me. By all my logical, linear thinking, I started out in school as a little boy. I didn’t have a clue about anything. What they were talking about in school, couldn’t play sports, couldn’t learn, and I was bottom of the class.”

Funny Anthony Hopkins Quotes That Just Make Sense

166. “My weak spot is laziness. Oh, I have a lot of weak spots, cookies, croissants.”

167. “I’ve got a great sense of humor.”

168. “I love roller coasters. I don’t get a chance often, but I’ve gone to Magic Mountain and gone on the rides. I love roller coasters.”

169. “I’ve always liked to be a meat and potatoes kind of actor who doesn’t believe in any of the highfalutin stuff about acting.”

170. “I’d like to wake up and look like Brad Pitt in the morning, but I don’t. I look in the mirror, and I see me.”

171. “I don’t mind being a commodity. It’s given me a good life.”

172. “You have to be pretty tough to be an actor, and you have to be pretty certain what you want. You can’t waffle through this business.”

173. “I still don’t know what the film was about because all I remember is a whole lot of technical dialogue about a body in a suitcase.”

174. “It’s such a pleasant surprise when you come on set, and you find someone in charge, like Ken Branagh or James Ivory. You know that you’re going to do a day’s work, and at the end of it, it’s going to be good.”

175. “I was lousy in school, real screwed-up, a moron. I was antisocial and didn’t bother with the other kids—a really bad student. I didn’t have any brains. I didn’t know what I was doing there. That’s why I became an actor.”

176. “I visualized a lot of things happening to me because I was a lonely kid because I didn’t understand anything about school.”

177. “I couldn’t say I ever dreamt of becoming a composer, a pianist, or anything else for that matter. I have the kind of brain where nothing is set in stone.”

178. “When you’re younger, you have so many ideas about yourself. Everything is important. It’s not when you look back, nothing is that important. It’s only life.”

179. “I know how to be strong. I know how to be ruthless. It’s part of my nature. I wouldn’t be an actor if I wasn’t.”

180. “I spent two years in the military service. Then, I trudged around in repertory for quite a while. I somehow wound up at the National Theatre, though, and then I was definitely on my way.”

Anthony Hopkins Quotes to Appreciate Reality

181. “I just wanted to be a composer. I became an actor by default, really. I got a scholarship to a college of music and drama, hoping to take a scholarship in music. But I ended up as an acting student, so I’ve stuck with that for the last 50 odd years.”

182. “I could stay, making nice safe BBC movies for the rest of my life, so I decided to risk it. It was a challenge to work with Oliver Stone.”

183. “My father wasn’t a cruel man, and I loved him. But he was a pretty tough character. His own father was even tougher, one of those Victorians, hard as iron, but my dad was tough enough.”

184. “I love to have a laugh. I like to tease people.”

185. “There’s many a good tune played by an old banjo.”

186. “I enjoy painting. I don’t know if I’m good at it, but I paint. I paint very quickly.”

187. “Years ago, I met Richard Burton in Port Talbot, my home town, and afterward, he passed in his car with his wife, and I thought, ‘I want to get out and become like him.’ Not because of Wales, because I love Wales, but because I was so limited as a child at school and so bereft and lonely, and I thought becoming an actor would do that.”

188. “Some nights, you might go through an entire performance and not feel a thing, and the audience may have a much better time, ’cause if you’re enjoying yourself on stage too much, they’re having a terrible time because they can’t hear you. And if you’re a woman, your mascara’s running.”

189. “The best of us developed later. In high school, I was an idiot.”

190. “Things have changed so much now. Everything is downloaded onto computers. I’m not a computer-savvy guy, but with downloading, the movie industry has changed.”

Did Anthony Hopkins Inspire You to Keep Working for Your Dreams in Life?

Anthony Hopkins did not do well in school and was a victim of bullying in his teens. But, this did not discourage him from pursuing his interests in life. He was a brave 17-year-old who mustered the courage to drop out of school and apply to a drama class. 

His experiences and will to be who he wants to be are inspiring for many people. Having bad experiences can affect a person negatively, but it only drives him to prove people wrong. 

We hope that this collection was able to help you to keep on fighting for your goals. It is important not to let other people hinder our path towards our dreams. Remember to keep going and never to give up!

Which Anthony Hopkins quote is your favorite and why? Join the discussion in the comment section below!


Recommended Reading

Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

Leave a Comment