The American “Variety” magazine has a remarkable program called “Actors on Actors” in which one actor interviews another. One time, Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman was interviewed by actor James Franco.
In the early years of his career – from 17 to 30, to be precise – Hoffman struggled with his artistic career, receiving rejection after rejection. Answering the question of James Franco, Hoffman said that Armenian-American novelist William Saroyan kept him motivated until he got his breakthrough role in the 1967 film “The Graduate” (watch the video below from 12:09 minutes).
“I liked William Saroyan, the writer, and I had read something… I had read his plays when I was like 22, and he said one line, talking about his work, and he said… They asked him: ‘Why do you write?’ And he says: ‘Because it’s the only way I choose to survive.’ And that literally was like in front of me going through, you know, rejection, year after year,” said Hoffman.
Actors on Actors: James Franco and Dustin Hoffman (Full Video)