Dustin Hoffman, one of the most celebrated actors of our time, opens up in the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine about stepping out of his comfort zone for his directorial debut Quartet, redefining retirement in Hollywood and how his latest film drove him to ponder how far he’s come and how little he’s changed.
The Academy Award® winner is also being recognized for his Breakthrough Achievement in directing by AARP The Magazine with a 2012 Movies for Grownups® award.
The following are excerpts from the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine cover story, available in homes today and online NOW at www.aarp.org/magazine.
On his directorial film debut, Quartet:
“An honest answer: I directed a play on Broadway. I blamed my own demons for waiting 35 years to do it again. Why did I fight it? Because it’s a thrilling opportunity to be the one who holds the paintbrush.”
“As we were working on the film, I asked Billy Connolly [one of its stars], ‘What’s the movie about?’ And he said, ‘Don’t die until you’re dead.’ I thought that nailed it.”
On what drew him to Quartet:
“It’s an affirmative movie but still reality. There’s this cloud of mortality hovering over the characters and blinding them.”
On using real musicians ages 70-plus in Quartet:
“Brilliant artists—and no one had rung their phone for 30 or more years. They showed up at 6 every morning and worked sometimes 14 hours a day without a whimper, with such dedication and joy. It infected all of us.”
“I think ‘retirement’ goes hand in hand with people who make a living by having a ‘job.’ I don’t think we—the .00001 percent of the population who are so fortunate to love passionately what we do—consider it a ‘job.’”
On his ideal age and growing older:
“I wouldn’t trade now for anything.”
“What we all want is to continually grow and expand. I’ve discovered that as the body becomes more limited, the soul expands.”
On the differences between men and women:
“I think men are the weaker of the genders and live a more limited life than women. For whatever reasons, men run from intimacy. If you run from intimacy, you’re running from what life can give you.”
“My wife says I’ve been worrying about it since we started going out. But at a certain point your icons change. There’s Manoel de Oliveira, who’s still directing at 104. And I recently read about a 94-year-old guy who had just [...]