“Tisch graduates, you made it,” De Niro said after taking the stage. “And you’re fucked.”
The room erupted in laughter, though not every school administrator could be seen laughing along in the background.
“Yeah, you’re fucked,” De Niro repeated shortly after. “The good news is, that’s not a bad place to start.”
The veteran leading man told the graduates that as professional actors, "a new door is opening for you — a door to a lifetime of rejection."
"Did you get straight As in school?" he asked. "If you did, good for you, congratulations. But in the real world, you'll never get straight As again."
Watch the speech: