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Stranger Than Fiction - Dustin Hoffman interview

Dustin Hoffman in Stranger Than Fiction

Compiled by Jack Foley

SCREEN legend Dustin Hoffman talks about working on Stranger Than Fiction...

Q. Tell us about working with Marc Forster…
A. Marc [Forster] is somewhat unique in the sense that he combines that rare combination of having a very strong vision of what he wants and almost becoming invisible on the set. He doesn’t even say “action”, but he gets what he wants from everyone. He’s a quiet dictator [laughs], the best kind.

Q. And what was it like being united with Will Ferrell?
A. I was surprised by Will because you expect someone who somehow radiates the very qualities that kind of endear him to the public. But he doesn’t really, at first, blush. He’s rather shy, introverted, quiet and then this humour just kind of sneaks out under the door every once in a while.

I was also intrigued that he seems to really want to be an actor. He is by the way – but he wants to cross that other bridge. His instincts are, I think, the instincts of an actor, rather than a performer. He’s quite in the moment.

Q. Do you think audiences will be surprised to see Will Ferrell in this role?
A. We were saying the other day that casting is so important. Some people say, you know, the best advice you can give a director is to cast it right, ‘cause that’s 90% of it. And Will’s very right for this role because he does contain an essence.

This character seems to be guileless and just in the short time I’ve known Mr Ferrell, he seems guileless. He’s the only person in acting that I’ve met in recent years, over the age of 10, who still says, “gosh” a lot [laughs].

Read our review of Stranger Than Fiction