Robert De Niro, a two-time Oscar winner, warned students of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts who graduates on Friday, to expect rejection and to not take it personally, like when he jokingly found out he couldn’t play Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. “You made it,” De Niro said. “And you’re f***ed.“
“The graduates in accounting? They all have jobs,” the legendary actor continued. “Where does that leave you? Envious of those accountants? I doubt it. They had a choice. Maybe they were passionate about accounting but I think it’s more likely that they used reason and logic and common sense to reach for a career that could give them the expectation of success and stability. Reason, logic, common sense at the Tisch School of Arts? Are you kidding me? But you didn’t have that choice, did you? You discovered a talent, developed an ambition and recognized your passion.”
“When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense,” De Niro told the new alums. “You aren’t just following dreams, you’re reaching for your destiny. You’re a dancer, a singer, a choreographer, a musician, a filmmaker, a writer, a photographer, a director, a producer, an actor, an artist. Yeah, you’re f***ed. The good news is that that’s not a bad place to start.”
At the end of his speech, De Niro sounded confident that the Tisch graduates will get their big breaks.
“I’m here to hand out my pictures and resumes to the directing and producing graduates.”