Dustin Hoffman at the London Film Festival

Dustin Hoffman at the London Film Festival

Dustin Hoffman believes acting is a "b*****d art form.

The actor-turned-director has slammed the industry for not allowing film stars to be part of the scene selection and editing process and he believes the reason why there are bad movies around is because of "those guys in the cutting room", rather than poor acting.

Speaking at a London Film Festival press conference to promote his directorial debut 'Quartet', he told BANG Showbiz: "You have to protect yourself. Anyone with half a brain who does movies year after year after year learns they have to protect themselves, because it's a b*****d art form for us.

"We are not allowed in the cutting room - that's extraordinary. So when a director asks for certain nuances, certain colours, and we feel that they're phoney but we do it because a director is asking for it, that's the one they pick in the cutting room. I contend that when you see a movie with bad acting, don't blame the actor. Blame those guys in the cutting room."

Dustin insists some filmmakers "can't wait" to cut scenes because they "don't like" certain movie stars, but he admits actors learn how each helmer likes to work fairly quickly.

He added: "All of us pile up the things we like about directors and the things we don't like about directors and sometimes they are very similar.

"If you come on the set and see you see the director mouthing all the words while the scene is going on, it's usually a very bad sign. It means the director has already shot the scene in his head and he knows exactly the rhythm and the nuances he wants delivered in the line and you're not going to persuade him. Usually those people don't even like actors and they can't wait to get into the cutting room. They break down into categories.

"Directors like to be surprised and some of them abhor being surprised and that we learn as actors very early on. As far as directing, we all direct when we're in movies, every single one of us."

Indie drama 'Quartet' - which stars Dame Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Sheridan Smith - tells the story of a group of retired opera singers who are gearing up for their annual concert when the ex-wife of one of the performers makes an unwanted return to the home they all reside in.