WHAT DO YOU KNOW NOW?
DUSTIN HOFFMAN, screen icon and director of the must see new film "Quartet" starring Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly.
One of the thrills in life is a long conversation with Dustin Hoffman, 75, who directed the amazing new film "Quartet" about a home for retired opera singers that's filled with divas and even a few broken hearts proving that love has no age.
What does Hoffman know now that he didn't know when he was younger? Here is his taking on the aging process and other important life lessons:
LOOKING AGELESS IS PAYBACK.
Hoffman says, "God is paying me back for years of acne. I guess when you've lived with oily skin as a young man, you grow up to be an older man with few lines. Who knew this is how it worked! I had so many years of acne, so for some reason I look younger than my real age now. But I always looked younger. When I did 'The Graduate,' I was 30 playing a 20 year old. Interestingly enough, Anne Bancroft was only 35 and she was 'the older woman.' There were only five years separating us. So I credit genetics for the reason I look younger. I was also the shortest kid in school and very unpopular. It has taken me years to get payback!"
TURNING 50? YOU'RE YOUNG.
Hoffman says, "Now 50 is a very young age. And the culture just doesn't see it at times, which is so odd to me. If you take care of yourself, 50 is young! You can even make it to 100. Just don't smoke."
INTERACT WITH PEOPLE, NOT KEYBOARDS
Hoffman says, "The so-called younger generation doesn't go to movies anymore. They go see event films, but otherwise, they have their video games and IPhones and DVDs. They have lost the ability or the chance to enjoy a film with 300 other strangers. We shouldn't give that up. I think going to a film is like going to a church or a temple. There is something almost spiritual about going to a movie house.
"It's sad because someone told me that before telephones were even invented, if there was bad news someone knocked on your door with a letter saying that 'so and so' passed away. Everything is separated from emotion with technology."
DON'T LIMIT YOUR CURIOSITY AT ANY AGE
Hoffman says, "I think you should allow your own curiosity to drive you at every age. Don't rely on just intellectual decisions. Go with your gut."
LOVE IS THE ANSWER
Hoffman says, "The earlier you learn there is no greater feeling than the ability to give the better. There is a feeling you get from giving. There is an enormous satisfaction in it that I don't think can be equaled."
TRUST IN THE MYSTERY OF LIFE
Hoffman says, "I think the older you get the more respect you have for God meaning God in the abstract sense. There is something miraculous and mysterious about life. I grew up in a non-religious home, but I feel this more and more. There is an esthetic about this universe that we don't quite understand, but it exists. I know now there is such a mystery about life. I have a respect for the questions and don't need to know the answers.
"I also think that as you get older, you're less sure of anything. You live a life, decade after decade, and we feel we need to know all the answers. I've lived three-quarters of a century and everyday I wake up with more questions.
"There is nothing wrong with that. I actually heard that when Gertrude Stein was dying, her partner said, 'Tell me. What is the answer? What is the answer to life?' Gertrude said, 'No, what is the question?'
"I know the most important thing is the question and not the answer."