Oscar Winner Dustin Hoffman's New Role Behind the Camera

Legendary actor makes his directorial debut in new film "Quartet."
5:15 | 01/23/13

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Transcript for Oscar Winner Dustin Hoffman's New Role Behind the Camera
None bigger than dustin hoffman. He's won two oscars. "Kramer versus kramer" and "rainman" won so manies so cars. Welcome to "gma." Thank you. I have to ask you, what took you so long? You have been acting for decad decades. Your first time as a director in "quartet." I would develop stuff like every other actor, everyone who hopes to have something made from their own idea. I would put it aside to make a movie. The movie would be over. I would come back to it. The most important part of it is WHEN YOU'RE IN YOUR 0s, 40s, 50s, YOU THINK YOU HAVE ALL THE Time in the world. Suddenly, you're 75 and you say -- you gotta do it. -- Or get off the pot. It's called "quartet." Three of them live together and they come together for a performance of "verdi." Maggie smith. She actually came with the project. I'm not sure she would have agreed with me directing. You chose a clip you want us to see. Maggie plays someone that is an ex-diva. She no longer has any money. She has to go to this retirement home. She loathes it. She's been shown around by a gal she used to sing with, pauline collins. ♪ thighs, hips, move those hips. ♪ side to side. Shake it, ladies, shake it. This isn't a retirement home. This is a mad I decided I wanted to use real ex-opera singers and musicians. That's who surrounds maggie and the other stars. That guy is an ex-musician. I didn't direct him to do that. He took one look at maggie and he made a move. Who can blame him, right? You brought so much fun to this. You have important things to say. The whole film does about the whole process of aging. You want an answer? Yeah. Yes, I mean -- I mean -- you know, mookle strahan is an example, I guess, an athlete, faces it more dramatically than an opera singer. They both have a short shelf life. What is it for an athlete to be a star in high school, college, pro, and then suddenly, he wakes up one morning and it ain't the same. He's just, even if it's that much less flexibility. With an opera singer, you start to lose your voice at a certain point. To be on that height, that role, suddenly, like a guillotine, not be able to perform that level but want to is amazing. It was so moving to see you moved at the kennedy center honors when everyone was paying tribute to you, perilously your friend, robert de niro. I was set. You go, I'm going to the kennedy center. I'm going meet the president and first lady. I'm going to sit there. They have it every year. I'm going to be all right. I'm going to hold myself together. Even though at my age, I cry at the weather reports. All of us did today. And -- you don't know who is going to be there. You don't pick anybody. So when de niro came out, i wondered if he was doing it for one of the other honorees. He starts talking about me. We're good friends. We don't talk about acting. We talk about everything else. Suddenly, he starts talking about me as an actor. It was very moving. What he did say, which was interesting, is that on the fourth film we made together, one of the focker movies, in the middle of the day, out of in where, he starts the sentence with, so, uh -- he says, so you remember 1969? I said, what do you mean, bob? He says, there was like some BENEFIT DIN ERKS maybe McCarthy was running for president. I said, yeah, maybe. I said, okay. Why are you telling me this? He says, I was your waiter. Wow. That is pretty cool. I said, so did we meet. He said, yeah, the first thing you said to me is, how's the flounder. You have both come a long way since then. Thanks a lot, dustin hoffman. It is called "quartet." It goes nationwide on friday. When we come back, jason

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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