Thirty years after first terrifying cinemagoers in The Silence of the Lambs, movie legend Sir Anthony Hopkins has spoken candidly about his own darkest days.

In a raw interview with The Sunday Times, Port Talbot 's most famous son said he still tours the streets of his birthplace on Google Maps from his California home and described his past alcoholism as a "driving force" in his career.

The 83-year-old is in the running for a Golden Globe at tonight's awards, and is tipped for an Oscar in April, for his latest film The Father, a raw and powerful telling of an elderly man's descent into dementia. 

Sir Anthony, one of Hollywood's best known and respected actors, said filming the final scene of the film made him think of his own father's death.

"I remember this once strong, robust man, declining and depressed — and fearful.

"He was irritable and irascible, he didn’t want fuss, and I’m a bit like that.

"I looked at the photograph of me with my two daughters on the bedside table on the [film] set and the radio and the little notepad and I knew what he felt at the end.

"The fear. The unutterable bleakness and sadness and loneliness," he said.

Olivia Colam, left, and Anthony Hopkins in a scene from The Father

In December, 2020, Anthony Hopkins posted a video on Twitter to mark 45 years of being sober.

In the video, which quickly went viral, he said: "It’s been a tough year full of grief and sadness for many, many, many people, but 45 years ago today I had a wake up call.

"I was headed for disaster, I was drinking myself to death.

"I'm not preachy but I got a message, a little thought that said, 'Do you want to live or die?' and I said 'I want to live.'"

Anthony Hopkins speaks about his alcoholism in New Year message

In his latest interview he said his alcoholism was "hell on earth" for those around him.

"Looking back, I have no pride in myself because I caused a lot of damage,” he said in The Sunday Times interview.

"It’s lethal to be around drunks and I was one of those.

"But while I wouldn’t want to repeat those years, because I hurt people, the restlessness and anger was a driving force in my life.

"It moved me places. I made some crazy decisions, which turned out to be beneficial."

2021 marks 30 years since Sir Anthony Hopkins played Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs

Speaking about the rise in alcoholism during lockdown he said he understood the urge to turn to drink to soften the "discomfort of living".

"People are stuck in high-rise apartments with children, with nothing to do.

"The pressure is beyond belief, so of course they are going to seek relief.

"The hallmark of anyone who is hooked on cigarettes or booze or food, whatever the addiction is, is the stubbornness. You think, ‘I can do it.’ Well, you can’t really.

"Phone services. Do anything you can to get a connection with someone because it’s a form of suicide. Having given up, I found my life only improved."

With characteristic honesty he added that he thinks about death but finds peace in his own "insignificance".

"I just hope I’m at peace with everything when the time comes.

"On my first day free of booze, a friend asked, ‘How do you feel?’ I said, inadequate.

"And then it hit me that of course we all are. None of us is of any importance at all. In this vast multi-universe where we all exist, we are nothing.

"It goes back to Socrates — I know that I know nothing. That was the single greatest moment of freedom I have ever felt," he told The Sunday Times.