Anthony Hopkins Gave Brad Pitt Some Sage Advice On The Legends Of The Fall Set

If we have learned anything from the truly wonderful and slightly bizarre social media presence of Anthony Hopkins, he is thoroughly enjoying his life. The man is an acting legend who can sign on to any movie he wants to do, be they big spectacles like "Thor," or heart-wrenching dramas like "The Father." He has been in masterpieces and straight-up garbage alike, showing he is not particularly precious about the work he does. Not that he doesn't take the work seriously, mind you, but he never seems to act like he is too good to do a certain kind of project. Hopkins turns 85 years old this year. He could step back from the work and sit at home, playing the piano and writing music, but he keeps on chugging along. He can next be seen in James Gray's "Armageddon Time," and Florian Zeller's "The Son" later this year.

Clearly, Hopkins goes through life in the way all of us desire to do. He takes what comes at him with a smile and continues forward. He has had that kind of demeanor for a long time now, as evidenced by how he affected Brad Pitt on the set of Edward Zwick's 1994 western "Legends of the Fall." At the time, Pitt was a burgeoning movie star, already beloved for that pretty face of his. Playing opposite someone like Hopkins at that stage in their career would be impactful for just about anyone, but little did Pitt know that he would receive a mantra from this legend that would affect his worldview evermore. And all it took were two simple words.

'F*** it'

Most of us unnecessarily burden ourselves with so many expectations for how our lives are meant to play out; we are constantly striving for more or better. While this mindset is usually applied to finances, I mean more in quality of life and love. Being content in your situation seems antithetical to how society wants us to continuously want. If something doesn't go the way you hoped, you resent it. People look for sages, gurus, and mantras to ease their burdens, but all you have to do is listen to Anthony Hopkins. Brad Pitt did, and in speaking with Hopkins for Interview Magazine, he recalled the advice that helped shape how he approaches life:

"'F*** it.' That was one of the first things I heard you say, back during 'Legends of the Fall' when I was just getting my opportunity. And it always stuck with me. It seems to be a theme, a guiding principle. 'F*** it.'"

Yes, the advice is rather blunt, but why come up with a complicated, flowery way of saying something so simple? "F*** it" is all you need. If something is stressing you out, clouding your mind, or preventing you from enjoying your life, just say, "F*** it." Life is too short to not push the things aside that make your life difficult. Obviously, this cannot be taken as a substitute for mental health issues requiring therapy or medication, but for the trivialities of life that pop up which we transform from molehill into mountain, I honestly cannot think of a better mantra. If Brad Pitt still holds onto it a quarter of a century after he first heard it, clearly it made some difference.

Wise words from a priest

"F*** it" was not a mantra that Anthony Hopkins devised for himself. Like Brad Pitt, he had to hear it from someone he respected. So, where did Hopkins hear this sound advice from? Obviously, it was a clergyman who delivered the profanity-laden message. Hopkins recalls to Pitt in the interview:

"I once asked a Jesuit priest, 'What is the shortest prayer in the world?' He said, 'F*** it.' It's the prayer of release. Just say, 'F*** it.' None of it is important. The important thing is to enjoy life as it is. Your life today, it's fantastic."

As someone who was Catholic-adjacent for many years, based on my schooling and friends, I cannot imagine a priest saying the word f***, let alone using it as part of a prayer. But maybe Anthony Hopkins just knows cooler priests than I did. At any rate, I am glad this priest was able to help Anthony Hopkins put life in perspective in a new way, and by proxy, for Brad Pitt as well. 

I don't think I enjoy life to the fullest in any way, and that's probably because I don't say "F*** it" enough, in the slightest. I let all those little things fester inside my brain constantly. Maybe it is time I start listening to Anthony Hopkins. He seems to be having a grand old time. You should not have to wait until you are in your 80s to do that. So, come on everyone. Say it with me: "F*** it!"