People might consider it horseshit, but good actors are good actors because they can tap into an emotional reserve that most people lack. It doesn’t make them smarter; it just gives them a broadness of understanding that they can use to regurgitate words and give them depth. In effect, good acting can make us feel the intent of the words and the character an author crafted.
And with “Tootsie,” the legendary actor Dustin Hoffman tapped into an especially raw emotional reserve — that of being an ugly woman. During this AFI interview, the likes of which is now going viral with over 3 million views, Hoffman tears up at the realization that he — had he been born a woman — would not be the sort of woman that he would have interacted with as a man, based purely on aesthetics. As he tearfully recounts it, “‘Tootsie’ was not a comedy for me.”
It’s an especially poignant moment given the recent turmoil over gay rights, hopefully giving viewers an opportunity to consider the perspective of someone outside themselves for a moment. Maybe you all can now project yourselves into the mind of a beautiful, but tortured, new media magazine writer who just wants to entertain the masses — yet winds up being maligned for his brazen reluctance to capitulate to the commonly held ideals of the bourgeois. Damn, he’s like a Jean Valjean, only with a bigger heart. Also, he’s better in the sack …
You like touching stuff, huh? Well here are a few more heartfelt moments: