A common space for harmonic peacemakers
In this clip from the AFI archives, Actor Dustin Hoffman shares how the film TOOTSIE came to be and why he had to play the role of Dorothy Michaels.
In this interview with AFI archives from late 2012, actor Dustin Hoffman remembers the initial planning for Tootsie, the film in which his character disguises himself as a woman for a job. It was the first makeup test which led Hoffman to break down in tears over a huge revelation about men and women in our society.
Dustin Hoffman on playing a woman in Tootsie (1982)
“If I was going to be a woman, I would want to be as beautiful as possible. And they said to me, ‘Uh, that’s as beautiful as we can get you.’ And I went home and started crying to my wife, and I said, ‘I have to make this picture.’ And she said, ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘Because I think I’m an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen, and I know that if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill, physically, the demands that we’re brought up to think that women have to have in order for us to ask them out.’ She says, ‘What are you saying?’ and I said, ‘There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.’ It was not what it felt like to be a woman. It was what it felt like to be someone that people didn’t respect, for the wrong reasons. I know it’s a comedy. But comedy’s a serious business.”