Dustin Hoffman Describes Epiphany About Women (video)

Is it possible to step into another person’s shoes? Perhaps not entirely, but Dustin Hoffman described the epiphany he had when preparing for his role in “Tootsie,” the 1982 film in which he played a man pretending to be a woman.

Even with the finest makeup artists, Hoffman was less than enthusiastic about his physical transformation. Going beyond what it would feel like to dress as a woman — you know, the whole wearing a dress and high heels thing that always gets a laugh — Hoffman wanted to answer the question, “If you were born a woman, how would you be different?”

“I think I’m an interesting woman when I look at myself on the screen,” says Hoffman, “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 [...] There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life…”

Hoffman delivers a valuable lesson about physical beauty and deeply ingrained prejudices against females in our society. This video, courtesy of the American Film Institute, is definitely worth three minutes and 11 seconds of your time — and it’s worth passing along to the men and women in your life.

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Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa3 years ago

Thank you

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

It touched me emotionally that Dustin Hoffman really was emotionally choked up when he realized the fact that he had personally descriminated against women based on looks & that he really understood it on a level that he had never before, as he was preparing for his role for his movie "Tootsie".

Pat A.
P A4 years ago


Kayleigh Harter
Kayleigh Harter4 years ago

My respect for him just went through the roof.

Leila Mota
Leila M4 years ago

This story is truly amazing.

Anne F.
Anne F4 years ago

Glad to see this posted. I hope we can move beyond judging people by physical appearance.

Michael H.
Mike H4 years ago

Thank you.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G4 years ago


Laura M.
Past Member 4 years ago

Awesome. Thanks. =)