Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Hoffman divorce role 'liberating'

Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman said he found it 'liberating' filming the Oscar-winning divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer
Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman said he found it 'liberating' filming the Oscar-winning divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer

Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman said he found it "liberating" filming the Oscar-winning divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer while his own marriage was crumbling.

The actor, who won his first Oscar for the 1979 film, said he based much of his role on his failing relationship with his first wife Anne Byrne and also had a hand in re-writing the script to reflect his own experiences.

He told GQ: "I expected it to be a painful experience and I realised it was the opposite. It was liberating. If you're a writer, you get up in the morning and you write what's coming out of you. But an actor is working off someone else's creation. With this, I felt like the author of it."

Hoffman also revealed he almost lost the role that won him his second best actor Oscar when he asked Rain Man director Barry Levinson to give his part playing Tom Cruise's autistic brother to Richard Dreyfuss after filming had begun.

Levinson, whose films include Bugsy and Good Morning Vietnam, said: "I think if he could have seen the role before he began, he might never have done it."

The 75-year-old Hoffman recently made his directorial debut with Quartet, a comedy about four elderly opera singers who are reunited in a specialist retirement home, that stars Dame Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly and Sir Tom Courtenay.

:: Read the full interview in the new edition of GQ out on Thursday March 9

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Sagittarius:

Beware of spending beyond your means. Sticking to a budget will help you survive the festive season relatively unscathed. It will be easier than you think to let your grip on the purse strings slip especially as the big day draws near. Let Christmas be about loving, sharing and giving. Spend quality time preparing food, making decorations and playing games together. If you haven't sent all your cards or round robin emails give some thought about what you will be sharing with others this year.More