NEW YORK—An American Film Institute interview with Dustin Hoffman has revealed his deep and conflicted feelings about playing a woman in the 1982 movie Tootsie. Hoffman said the film started as a question posed by a friend: If you were born a woman, how would you be different? This led him to believe that he could only play a woman on-screen if he could pass for one in real life and he asked Columbia Pictures for a screen test.
“I was shocked that I wasn’t more attractive,” said Hoffman. As he considered the plight of his character, he had an epiphany that he said brought him to tears. “I think I’m an interesting woman when I look at myself on-screen, and I know if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character…”
In light of the idea that an ugly woman could be interesting, Hoffman went on to say that he felt Tootsie would be an excellent candidate for the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ campaign. “Don’t they take unattractive women and convince them they’re beautiful? I think if they did that to my character and then I saw the commercial, I would talk to her at a party.”
Dorothy Michaels couldn’t be reached for comment, but management said she’d consider talking to Dove as soon as she lost those last 10 pounds.