London: The man who helped save Sir Anthony Hopkins battle his booze nightmare has revealed how he came to the star’s rescue.
Clancy Imislund, a former alcoholic who helps the homeless battle their addictions in Los Angeles, has spoken of how he came to the Oscar-winning actor’s aid when he was still coming to terms with life without alcohol after quitting the bottle in the mid-Seventies.
“I knew he was an actor but he wasn’t as big then as he is now. I’d just been straight a lot longer than him and decided I’d teach him the little technical things to help you get through the problems of everyday life without wanting to take a swig of the strong stuff,” the Daily Express quoted Clancy, 83, as saying.
The Welshman’s drink problem took hold when his stage and film career started taking off in the Sixties.
And the actor finally took things in his hands after his move to the US in December 1975 when, after waking up hundreds of miles away from his home in an Arizona hotel room with no recollection of how he got there, he decided to quit the bottle for good.
Hopkins went on to join Alcoholics Anonymous and it was there that he met Clancy, who offered him a piece of advice that ensured he would not fall off the wagon.
Clancy is a former advertising executive whose career was wrecked by drink before he rebuilt his life to become managing director of the Midnight Mission.
“The thing with alcoholism is that it makes you very self-obsessed, it’s all ‘me, me, me,’” explained Clancy.
“Put 10 guys in a room and, by next week, maybe six will be gone. But I could tell Tony really wanted to stick with it. So I told him if he really wanted to help himself, the only way to do it was to help others,” he added.
Hopkins, now 72, went on to become a volunteer at the Midnight Mission.
Each Christmas he hands out presents to the homeless and has even taken time out to teach free acting classes.
“It’s funny. We have film nights here and one time we showed Silence Of The Lambs. So as a surprise I asked Tony to come down and tap a few people on the shoulder at the end and say ‘Hello’ in that voice he does. You should have seen their faces. They were like, ‘Arrggh!’ He got a real kick out of that,” said Clancy.