Robert De Niro Tells NYU Grads: ‘You’re F–cked’

“The good news is, that’s not a bad place to start,” Oscar winner says

Robert De Niro had a very special message for the 2015 graduating class of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts when he said, “You made it, and you’re f—ed.”

“The graduates from the college of nursing, they all have jobs,” the actor said during his commencement address. “The proud graduates of the NY school of law, they’re covered. And if not, who cares? They’re lawyers.”

De Niro said the graduates from other schools most likely used “reason, logic, and common sense” to pursue careers that would offer them stability and security. Tisch graduates are different, however, because they are pursuing their passion.

“When you feel that you can’t fight it, you just go for it,” he said. “When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense … Yeah you’re f-ked. The good news is, that’s not a bad place to start.”

“On this day of triumphantly graduating a new door is opening for you. A door to a lifetime of rejection,” he continued. “You can’t be too relaxed and do what we do. And you can’t block out the pain too much. Without the pain, what would be talk about?”

The Oscar winner then advised students to collaborate with their fellow artists and seek compromise when their idea for a character differs from the director’s. “There always should be space to try it both ways,” he said.