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Dustin Hoffman Dishes on His Directorial Debut in New Issue of AARP

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Related: QUARTET, Dustin Hoffman


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."

On retiring:

"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."

On mortality:

"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 run a triathlon. They asked, 'Are you going to run anymore?' He says 'Oh yeah. I got to keep going till I get old."

"During filming I was saying to everybody in the cast, 'We're all in the same act together.' I always think it's a three-act play and we're in the second act--the third act being something that alters you, some infirmity or whatever. And somebody responded, 'Maybe it's a Shakespearean play with five acts.' I liked that. Maybe I've got three more acts."

For the complete interview, check out http://www.aarp.org/magazine/.

With nearly 33 million readers, AARP The Magazine is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through health and fitness features, financial guidance, consumer interest information and tips, celebrity interviews, and book and movie reviews. AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is published bimonthly in print and continually online. Learn more at www.aarpmagazine.org.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world's largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience; AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming including My Generation and Inside E Street. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

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