There’s a charming video making the viral rounds this week, in which Dustin Hoffman gets all verklempt over his cross-dressing role in “Tootsie,” and how it made him realize he had been ignoring unattractive women all his life. It’s very sweet and all, but possibly Hoffman doesn’t deserve the standing ovation the Internet is giving him for deciding he should be nice to people, as Tyler Coates points out in a pretty convincing takedown for Flavorwire.
Coates links to a 2008 AV Club interview with Hoffman’s “Tootsie” costar Teri Garr, who seems to share his sentiment (though whether she’s referring to Hoffman’s opinion or his character’s isn’t totally clear). “They put a man in a dress, and he’s supposed to know what it feels like to be a woman. But of course he doesn’t. I think what Dustin [Hoffman] says is, “I realize now how important it is for a woman to be pretty. And I wasn’t pretty.” God! That’s all you realized? Jesus Christ. Oh well. Don’t quote me. Actually, quote me.”
Don’t mind if I do.
In a very candid interview with the American Film Institute, Hoffman opened up about his role in the 1982 film “Tootsie.”
In the film, Hoffman disguises himself as a woman. After his first make up test, Hoffman thought he needed his woman character should be more beautiful, but the make up artist told him that’s as good as it will get. That’s when the famous actor had a major revelation about how women are portrayed in our society.