Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

What Made Actor Dustin Hoffman Cry?

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2013 Jul 26

A video of Dustin Hoffman has gone viral. In it, the acclaimed actor shares the real reason why he agreed to star in the 1982 hit, “Tootsie,” a film about a man who dressed up as a woman to get more work.

Turns out Hoffman wasn’t motivated by money or fame or some political interest. Rather, he was motivated by what he saw in his own heart.

As the film’s make-up team prepared Hoffman for the film, the actor realized he didn’t make for a very attractive woman.

Big surprise, right? Stay with me here.

But it was in that moment when Hoffman had his “epiphany.” In the video, Hoffman becomes emotional as he shares his experience:

“I went home and started crying… talking to my wife. I said, ‘I have to make this movie…’ … when I look at myself onscreen, and I know that if I met myself at a party, I know 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 because I’ve been brainwashed.”

It’s understandable why this clip has resonated with so many viewers. It’s difficult to miss how harshly society judges women, many times assigning value to them solely based on their looks.

If we’re honest, however, many of us, men and women alike, would be able to own up to the same thing Hoffman admits to – judging others by their appearance.

It’s challenging not to. We live in a visual culture where provocative, airbrushed beauties sell everything from hamburgers to Internet domains. Just last week ESPN’s magazine debuted their latest “body issue” – a tradition that feeds off people’s obsession with physical appearance. It’s everywhere. You can’t go to a mall without walking by immense posters of scantily dressed young women and men. Again and again, many things around us seem to cry out that looks matter most.

Yet they don’t.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (I Samuel 16:7)

How do you see people?  What a difference when we strive to see them through God’s eyes.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

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