Tuesday 21 November 2017

Julia Molony: Sometimes it's hard to be a woman, just ask Dustin Hoffman

The legendary actor knows the pain women feel when they are judged on looks alone, writes Julia Molony

LIFE'S A DRAG: While filming 'Tootsie', Dustin Hoffman, left, with Sydney Pollack, says that he came to understand women better when the make-up team told him 'That's as beautiful as we can get you'
LIFE'S A DRAG: While filming 'Tootsie', Dustin Hoffman, left, with Sydney Pollack, says that he came to understand women better when the make-up team told him 'That's as beautiful as we can get you'

Julia Molony

Who knew that Dustin Hoffman was such an all-round hero? Great actor, sure. Gifted first time director, without a doubt. But this week footage emerged that confirmed that he was not only those things but also a secret feminist.

How do we know? A long lost video from the archive of the American Film Institute was released on to the internet last week. In it, Hoffman talks about the making of the movie Tootsie, and how it changed his life. At a pre-shooting make-up test to see how well he would "pass" dressed up as the woman Dorothy Michaels, he was disappointed to discover that he wasn't prettier. He asked the make-up team to improve things.

"I thought I should be beautiful if I was going to be a woman, I would want to be as beautiful as possible," he explained. But since he was actually a man, and not a woman being marketed to by a cosmetics company or doctor, he was treated to the plain, unvarnished truth. "That's as beautiful as we can get you," the make-up team told him. Hoffman's response was a blinding moment of insight.

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