In 2012, Dustin Hoffman gave an interview with the American Film Institute concerning his role as Dorothy Michaels in one of his most famous films, Tootsie. The movie’s plot follows Hoffman’s character, a failing actor, who decides to dress and act as a woman to get more roles. The film was released in 1982 starring Hoffman alongside Jessica Lange and Bill Murray. Although the film was marketed as a comedy and received an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, Hoffman states through tears in the interview, “That was never a comedy for me.”
In the video, Hoffman describes the development of the film years before it was put into production. He wanted to make sure he could pull off being a women without getting weird looks from people on the street. He went to Columbia’s makeup department for help and did a screen test. Hoffman was shocked that he wasn’t automatically a beautiful woman despite the professional makeup and stated in matter-of-fact manner, “Okay, now make me a beautiful woman.” The makeup artists said that’s all that they could do.
Then it hit him like a box of rocks: “I have been brainwashed.”
In the interview he describes being full of regret and guilt while speaking to his wife. He is overwhelmed with emotion and says, “There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life.” He goes on to explain, “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.”
Despite the video being a year old, people are agreeing with the unfair beauty standards that women (especially older women) are expected to meet. Watch the interview below and see for yourself.