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Dustin Hoffman Recalls His 'Graduate' Audition

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Dustin Hoffman is a lucky guy. He got his big break in 1967's "The Graduate" — despite his audition.

In a two-hour edition of Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio," set to air June 25 (9 p.m EDT), Hoffman recalls the experience: "I went to shake the prop guy's hand and all my subway tokens fell out (of my pocket). And he picked them up and handed them back to me saying, 'Here kid, you're gonna need these.'"

The 68-year-old Hoffman, who won best actor Oscars for 1988's "Rain Man" and 1979's "Kramer vs. Kramer," is the 200th guest on the program, hosted by James Lipton.

"A friend told me to take acting, and I asked him, 'Why? I don't want to act,'" Hoffman recalls. "And he said, 'Because no one failed acting.'"

While preparing for his role as Ratso Rizzo in 1969's "Midnight Cowboy," he found inspiration on the streets of New York.

"I went out looking for a limp — a limp that was so graphically described in the novel," he says. "And then I found this guy on 42nd Street — and I was following him for the limp — and then the light changes, and he's the first to cross. Even with his limp! And I thought, 'That's my guy.'"

Hoffman, who portrayed a man impersonating a woman in 1982's "Tootsie," also reveals a shallow side.

"If I had met myself at a party (as a woman), I wouldn't go up and talk to myself," he says. "And I thought, but I was very interesting! I'd be a very interesting woman. And look what I'd be missing out on."

When asked what movies affected him when he was a child, Hoffman says, "Oh, I identified with 'Dumbo.' He had the ears, but I had the nose."

His upcoming films include "Stranger Than Fiction," also starring Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal.


Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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