Hoffman talks directing regrets

24 January 2013

Dustin Hoffman says he kept talking himself out of directing before Quartet came along.

The 75-year-old actor went behind the camera for the film, starring Dame Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins, as ageing British opera divas at a retirement home for musicians.

The film is the first time he's directed since 1978 ex-convict drama Straight Time, in which he also starred but "fired myself" as director.

After Straight Time, it took more than 30 years for the Oscar winner to try directing again.

"Between that one and now, I don't know. I worked on stuff, I've developed stuff and talked myself out of it for whatever reason," the star said in an interview at the Toronto festival.

"People will say, 'Well, you didn't do too badly, but nevertheless, we all would like to go back. I mean, it just goes under the heading of, I should have done this a long time ago.... I should have, should have, should have. I should not have gone into acting.

"I should have stayed and become a jazz pianist and worked at it until I was good enough. That's the thing I most regret."

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