Saturday 23 September 2017

Hoffman: Smith's up there with best

Dustin Hoffman has gone behind the camera for his new film
Dustin Hoffman has gone behind the camera for his new film

Dustin Hoffman has revealed he had to have Sheridan Smith in his new film - after she made him weep.

The Rain Man star enlisted the actress for his directorial debut Quartet - which also stars Dame Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly and Sir Tom Courtenay - after seeing her in the West End play Flare Path during a trip to London.

He said: "My wife and I saw her in this play and I just broke down after seeing it, she took me by surprise.

"I couldn't stop crying and we went backstage and we met her and that was before I knew I was going to do [Quartet]."

When Dustin signed up to direct the film, about ageing opera singers in a retirement home, he got straight on the phone to Sheridan to ask her to play their doctor.

"I just called her immediately. But since I've asked her to be in this she's won the Olivier Award, she's right up there. She deserves to be next to Maggie Smith."

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