Tootise (1982) is an iconic film. Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal of Dorothy Michaels was impeccable. Dorothy was a a firecracker, she was smart, sassy, witty, sensitive but… unfortunately not a looker. The detail and sensitivity with which Hoffman played this woman was incredible, it was like the male version of Julie Andrews Victor Victoria in a way. The Performance was so layered and incredibly authentic. But how did he get there?
Here is an interview with the actor, hear what Hoffman had to say about why he did the film, and about seeing himself-becoming a woman. It is incredibly insightful and pure, and honest, and ladies, it is our story. He got US, he GOT what it is to be a woman, and he wept. I wept as he talked about it.
Okay I love that he GOT that it shouldn’t be about his being in drag, I love the fact that he wanted to be beautiful, and the way that he says it, it was from a very human (non gendered) place, he wanted to be attractive. One of my favorite parts is when he tells his wife that he thinks he is an interesting woman…
I think this interview tells so much about not just the depth of his integrity as an actor to really, authentically, try to answer that original question “How would you be different if you were a woman?“. To approach it with such integrity so early on in the process of the discovery of this “Dorothy” character, but it shows the sensitivity, the empathy…When he said:
“I thought that I should be beautiful”
In that simple sentence he echoed a foundational desire of most women- and his disappointment and heartbreak when the answer was:
“That’s as good as it gets”
Well ladies who has not been there? You can’t make yourself taller, shorter, lighter, darker, smaller, thinner, you name it! in the end you are like Paula Deen “I is what I is!”
I wish all men could watch this clip to get a better understanding of what we, as woman feel. For that matter I wish all women could watch it as well, just to know that what you feel is real, you are not alone and at least one man (an incredibly brilliantly talented man at that) gets you!
here is a clip from Tootsie to refresh your memory: