Brutal honesty is not what most new graduates want to hear, but Robert De Niro didn't hold back when he told the class of 2015 at New York University they were “f****d”.
The Oscar-winning actor was giving the commencement speech at the Tisch School of the Arts, a major centre for the performing and media arts at NYU.
He reminded the graduates of the difficulties they would face in finding a job, compared to their friends in the nursing, dentistry and medicine schools.
“Tisch graduates, you made it… and you’re f****d,” De Niro said bluntly.
“A new door is opening for you, a door to a lifetime of rejection. It’s inevitable,” he joked. “How do you cope with it? I hear that Valium and Vicodin work.”
But the actor, who did not go to university, praised the graduates for pursuing a career out of passion and said: “You discovered a talent, developed an ambition and recognised your passion. When you feel that you can’t fight it, you just go with it.
“When it comes to the arts passion should always trump common sense. You weren’t just following dreams; you were reaching for your destiny.”
While most in the audience roared with laughter at the actor's blue humour, not everyone was amused.
Maria Jenson, a parent of one of the graduates, told the New York Daily News: “You don’t really want to use the F-bomb in front of thousands of people. That’s just my take.”
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