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Dustin Hoffman: ‘Years of therapy have done little to improve my mental state’

Dustin Hoffman is still convinced he is a complete failure, despite addressing his issues in therapy for years.
The celebrated actor, who turns 80 in August (17), admits decades of self-inflicted psychological abuse is still ongoing, and two Academy Awards haven’t helped him feel like a success story.
“Feeling like a failure, it’s constant,” he tells the Associated Press at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. “I do try hard to improve each day, but you don’t. I’ve been in therapy forever. In fact, I have a deal with my analyst that after I die she’ll come and sit at the grave site and we’ll find a way to communicate.”
Dustin is in France supporting of his new film The Meyerowitz Stories, a family comedy-drama written and directed by Noah Baumbach that is competing to win the coveted the Palme D’Or prize at Cannes.
In the Netflix movie, the star portrays successful sculptor and insecure father Harold Meyerowitz, a character Hoffman considers to be “prickly, psychologically abusive, selfish, funny” – like his own dad.
“If your father feels like a failure but doesn’t really feel that he should be, it’s particularly burdensome on many children, and I certainly was one of them,” Dustin shares. “You keep trying to change their third act. You keep trying to save them. Even if they’re dead, you somehow want to see them more positively than was accurate in their life.”
After portraying Harold, Hoffman came to the conclusion failure is more important than success in terms of developing strong character.
“I do believe you don’t learn from success, that it crusts you over. You learn from failure, but that has nothing to do with what the culture says,” he notes.

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