Dustin Hoffman speaks on many interesting things in this interview, and this was the golden nugget in my opinion. The Talks asked him whether finally achieving success with The Graduate, after 12 years of struggling in the acting world, changed much for Dustin.
Did success make you happier?
No. One of the things you learn when you become famous is that it demystifies a myth because it doesn’t change anything. I remember when I first started therapy as an unemployed actor, I was in my early twenties, and the therapist said to me, “What do you want?” I said, “I would like to work for the rest of my life, I would like to have a great marriage, I would like to have enough money to have a town house in New York City.” But once I got that, nothing changed.
Sometimes the artists with the strongest motivation to succeed are motivated because they’re looking to fill up a void with success. But success only amplifies what’s already happening inside. If there is a void, it will get bigger and either continue to motivate, or cause an implosion. It’s a bit of a catch-22 when the thing that motivates is also the thing that might bring you down eventually. The good thing is that it gets more dangerous as success grows, so if you work on it now you can get yourself in the right mental space to avoid the implosion. That way, when success comes, it won’t make you happier or change anything fundamental, but you won’t need it to either.1 Comment | Uncategorized | | 07.25.12.