Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman is a Hollywood legend, but it's his recent comments regarding unfair standards of female beauty that are earning him rave reviews today.
In a recently rediscovered 2012 archival interview with the American Film Institute, Hoffman discusses the epiphany he had while working on the 1982 movie "Tootsie." In the film, Hoffman plays an actor whose difficult personality prevents him from finding work, and so he decides to pose as a woman to get parts as an actress.
Hoffman says he accepted the role on the condition that he could successfully pass as a woman, and underwent a makeup test before production began. While he agrees that he could indeed pass for a woman, he admits that he was bothered by the fact that he wasn't more attractive, and asked the makeup artists to make him so, only to be told it wasn't possible.
In that moment, Hoffman says he realized he had been judging women unfairly based on their appearance, and was determined to make the movie to shatter society's misconceptions.
"I think I am an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen," Hoffman recalls telling his wife at the time. "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 to ask them out. ... There's too many interesting women I have ... not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed."
It seems Hoffman's experience changed his life forever. Maybe now that his epiphany has been made public, the rest of Hollywood can follow suit.