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What 'Tootsie' taught Dustin Hoffman

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Tootsie
Everett Collection

Who said that there are no decent men around?

For the past couple of days, an AFI interview with Dustin Hoffman has been circulating around the web (the interview took place back in 2012). In it, Hoffman discusses what his role in Tootsie taught him about being a woman. Check out the video below:

Hoffman took his role as Michael Dorsey/ Dorothy Michaels seriously, saying that before he formally agreed to the part, he decided to call the make-up artists at Columbia Pictures to test out just how well he could pass as a woman. In his words, “Unless I could walk down the streets of New York and dressed as a woman and not have people turn and say ‘Is that a guy in drag?’ or turn for any reason … Unless I could do that, I didn’t want to make the film.”

After the make-up test, Hoffman was pleased that he did indeed, look like a woman. And then he wanted to look like a beautiful woman and asked the make-up artists to oblige. But they physically couldn’t.

Hoffman suddenly had an epiphany and told his wife that he had “to make this picture because I think that I’m an interesting woman … and I know that if I met myself at a party I wouldn’t even talk to that character …”

Choking back tears, he realized that “There are too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know.”

So what do you think? Do Hoffman’s words ring true? Or is this an overreaction?

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