Robert De Niro Gives Hilariously Harsh Speech to NYU Grads (VIDEO)

robert de niro

When celebrities give college graduation speeches, their sentiments are usually encouraging. You know, stuff about working hard and following dreams, sprinkled with promises of eventual success. Not so in the case of Robert De Niro's recent, brilliant commencement speech at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His words of wisdom to the crowd of graduating actors, artists, musicians and filmmakers? "You're f**ked."


After congratulating the class, De Niro launched into a painfully funny (and painfully true) diatribe about what the creative young people can expect from their upcoming years of pounding the pavement. He explained that while other graduates with degrees in medicine, law and education might be able to look forward to years of employment, those degrees from Tisch were "opening a door to a lifetime of rejection." He even joked that he told his own kids to "never attend the Tisch School of the Arts" and to major in accounting instead, and that Vicodin and Valium would prove helpful in soothing the sting of that aforementioned rejection. (Well, he's not wrong.)

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Of course the Academy Award winner eventually got to the more hopeful stuff, telling those hoping to follow in his (extremely successful) footsteps that "when it comes to the arts, passion should trump common sense.” "You have to keep working,” he said. Which is good advice for college grads starting out in any profession, naturally. But it's so great, and so refreshing, to see someone like De Niro acknowledge just how hard it is to make a living in the arts. Seems like once many actors (and directors and the like) hit it big, they forget about all the slammed doors and tears they experienced on their way up. And I don't think De Niro was being harsh at all. All the youthful determination in the world doesn't mean anything if it's not rooted in reality, something a show biz vet like De Niro knows all too well. Check out the whole speech here:

Truth. And definitely one of the most entertaining commencement speeches of all time! One can't help but wonder how many of the students in that crowd will come even close to De Niro's level of success, but as long as they truly follow the man's advice, they should be okay. 

What did you think of Robert De Niro's graduation speech?


Image via YouTube

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