Robert De Niro reminded everyone what a cool guy he is when he gave a hilarious and moving speech to acting school graduates in New York.
The Oscar winner addressed the assembled graduates at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts on Friday and rather bluntly told them, “You’re f*cked!”
In his commencement speech, De Niro said:
You discovered a talent, developed an ambition and recognized your passion. When you feel that, you can’t fight it, you just go with it. When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense. You aren’t just following dreams, you’re reaching for your destiny.
You have to keep working, it’s that simple. A new door is opening for you – a door to a lifetime of rejection.
As the audience hung on his every word, the 71-year-old lightened the mood further when he told the graduates at Madison Square Garden that he was devastated when he auditioned for the part of Martin Luther King in Selma and was rejected.
(It) was too bad because I could’ve played the hell out of that part – I felt it was written for me. But the director had something different in mind, and you know she was right. It seems the director is always right!
Despite his jokes about the difficulties of becoming an actor, De Niro did inspire the assembled graduates, explaining that “as long as you give your best, it’s okay.”
He also revealed the advice he gives his six kids:
(Don’t go to acting school), get an accounting degree instead!
As corny as it sounds, I say, ‘Don’t be afraid to fail.’ I urge them to take chances, to keep an open mind, to welcome new experiences and new ideas. I tell them that if you don’t go, you’ll never know. You just have to go out there, be bold and go out there and take your chances.
And he would know. After all, he is the greatest actor of all time.