Brow Beat

Blank on Blank Beautifully Animates a Rare, Intimate Interview with Dustin Hoffman

The latest installment of PBS’s Blank on Blank animates excerpts from an intimate interview with Dustin Hoffman recorded in 1971, when Hoffman was only 33. In his conversation with journalist Milton Hoffman, the actor considers youth and fame and gives fans a glimpse of how his own personality and sense of self inform how he brings roles to life. “There are traits in my own personal character, which I don’t feel are admirable,” Hoffman says, “which I feel are unattractive. I’ve tried to bring out unattractive aspects of me in roles that I’ve played.”

Hoffman also gives some backstory on one of the lines people most often refer to when they see him on the street: “I’m walkin’ here,” from Midnight Cowboy. “That wasn’t in the script,” Hoffman says. A cab randomly intruded on the scene, and he was just trying to save the shot: “I said it through the character. Maybe that’s what acting’s all about. I felt connected with the role.”