It’s been a few decades since Dustin Hoffman starred as Michael / Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie but that doesn’t mean that the film is now irrelevant. A video of the actor talking about the groundbreaking role recently went viral after it was unearthed from the American Film Institute archives.
The video features Hoffman talking about the groundbreaking character and his own personal relationship with women.
The actor, who has to fight back tears throughout the video, said that he had an epiphany on the set of Tootsie when he realized that he would be an unattractive woman.
Hoffman says: “When we got to that point and looked at it on screen, I was shocked that I wasn’t more attractive … I said, ‘Now you have me looking like a woman, now make me a beautiful woman.’ Because I thought I should be beautiful. … And they said to me, ‘That’s as good as it gets.’ It was at that moment I had an epiphany, and I went home and started crying, talking to my wife. And I said I have to make this picture, and she said, ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘Because I think I am 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 women have to have in order for us to ask them out.”
Hofman, who said that Tootsie was never a comedy too him, said that he had missed out on knowing several wonderful women because he had been “brainwashed” into only paying attention to pretty women. Hofman said that his experience on Tootsie has made him think about how his life would have turned out if he had been born a woman.
Hoffman said: “There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed. Tootsie was never a comedy for me.”
Tootsie may have been billed as a comedy but it didn’t play that way for Dustin Hoffman. Jack Lemmon and Robbin Williams also noted that Tootsie was built like a comedy but it played like a drama.
Do you remember watching Tootsie? Are you surprised that the film was so personal to Dustin Hoffman?