In the short archival clip, Hoffman talks about the origins of Tootsie — his iconic 1982 comedy about an actor forced to "adopt a new identity as a woman" in order to land a gig — and how seeing himself in a dress forced him to come to terms with a lifetime spent judging women based on looks.
It was just after he demanded that makeup artists make him a more attractive woman, and being told that there was no way to make that happen, that Hoffman suddenly had an epiphany and started crying.
"Talking to my wife, I said I have to make this picture, and she said, 'Why?'," an emotional Hoffman recalls. "And I said, ''Because I think I am an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen. 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 to ask them out.'"
Hoffman's wife, still perplexed, asks him what he's trying to say.
"There's too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed," Hoffman says, adding, through tears, that for that reason Tootsie has never been a comedy for him.
[video via AFI]