Watch: A 33-Minute Dustin Hoffman Interview from 1975
Today is Dustin Hoffman’s 77th birthday, as good an opportunity as any to post this 33-minute interview from 1975. Conducted with patient professionalism and minimal intrusiveness by veteran interviewer Michael Parkinson, the conversation starts with lots of long pauses and deadpan stares from Hoffman, who claims his real name is Clare Boothe Luce. Loosening up, he deadpans that his “first fantasy was to be a sex symbol film star,” discusses how he drew upon his high school fear of buying “male prophylactics” for the scene in The Graduate when Benjamin Braddock nervously checks into a hotel, recounts his first sexual experience (with a girl in seventh grade who was in blackface; she was cast as Al Jolson in the school play), tells a story about successfully selling Gene Hackman’s infant child to an inattentive shopper while working at Macy’s and rounds it out by reflecting on his most recent role as Lenny Bruce. It’s a highly entertaining interview, alternately drolly evasive and surprisingly candid.