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Leave it to Robert DeNiro to tell it like it is.

The Goodfellas actor dished out some blunt, yet funny, advice to the graduates of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts while speaking at their commencement. During his speech, DeNiro simply told the crowd of aspiring writers, actors, directors and more, “”You’re an artist, yeah, you’re f***ed. The good news is, that’s not a bad place to start.”

As a legendary figure in show business, DeNiro also shared insight into how to be successful in Hollywood.

“Now that you’ve made your choice or, rather, succumbed to it, your path is clear. Not easy, but clear. You have to keep working, it’s that simple. You got through Tisch, that’s a big deal. Or, to put it another way, you got through Tisch? Big deal!”

And according to DeNiro, even he has had to deal with rejection.

“Rejection might sting, but my feeling is that often, it has very little to do with you. When you’re auditioning or pitching, the director or producer or investor may have someone different in mind, that’s just how it is. That happened recently when I was auditioning for the role of Martin Luther King in Selma! Which 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 she was right. It seems the director is always right.”

For more of Robert DeNiro keeping it all the way real with NYU graduates, watch the full speech here.


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