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'Tootsie' changed his feelings about women and their appearance, says Dustin Hoffman

In a video by the American Film Institute that's making the rounds on the Internet, 'Tootsie' star Dustin Hoffman discusses the feelings he had after putting on the makeup to become the character of Dorothy Michaels. The 'Tootsie' actor said he realized 'there [are] too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I’ve been brainwashed.'

By Staff writer / July 10, 2013

'Tootsie' stars Dustin Hoffman.



A video of Dustin Hoffman discussing his memorable role in “Tootsie,” as a man who dresses as a woman in order to secure more acting parts, has been making the rounds on the Internet.

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Staff writer

Molly Driscoll is a Books and the Culture staff writer.

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The video was reportedly filmed in 2012 for the American Film Institute and is described by the AFI as coming from their archives. In it, Hoffman discusses how playing the part gave him a new perspective on how society views women based on their appearance. The actor becomes visibly emotional during the video. 

Hoffman says he asked to get makeup tests so he could see how he would look playing a woman in the film.

“I was shocked I wasn’t more attractive,” he said of his reaction after the makeup was done. Hoffman said he told the makeup team, “Now make me a beautiful woman.” 

“That’s as good as it gets,” the makeup staff told him, according to Hoffman.

“It was at that moment that I had an epiphany,” the actor said. “I went home and started crying talking to my wife. I said, ‘I have to make this picture’… I think I’m an interesting woman when I look at myself onscreen, and I know that if I met myself at a party, I know 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… there’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I’ve been brainwashed.”

“That was never a comedy for me,” Hoffman adds of the movie.

In the 1982 movie, Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, who pretends to be a woman named Dorothy in order to secure a role on a soap opera. Complications ensue when Michael falls for his female co-star and his co-star’s father falls in love with Dorothy.

Check out the full video of Hoffman discussing his feelings about the role.


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