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Luck - Interview with Dustin Hoffman

There have been plenty of great restaurant scenes on film. Think of Meg Ryan faking an orgasm at a Manhattan delicatessen in When Harry Met Sally, or Al Pacino shooting a rival gangster and crooked cop in a Bronx Italian in The Godfather, or even Jack Nicholson’s attempt to persuade an obstinate waitress to give him a side order of toast in Five Easy Pieces.

But for sheer belly laugh-inducing comedy, few can rival the lunchtime encounter between Dustin Hoffman and Sydney Pollack in the 1982 film Tootsie. Hoffman, playing a down-on-his-luck actor who has resorted to dressing as a middle-aged woman in an attempt to land roles, runs into his agent (Pollack) at the Russian Tea Room in Manhattan. He proceeds to flirt with him in a squeaky southern belle accent before revealing, in his gruff, normal voice, his true identity. A dumbfounded Pollack immediately orders a double vodka. “God, I begged you to get some therapy,” he says.

I am reminded of this scene while waiting for my own lunchtime meeting with Hoffman. The restaurant he has chosen is Culina at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, so, taking care not to prang the Bentley belonging to Hustler founder Larry Flynt, which is parked in front of the hotel in its usual spot, I leave my car with the parking attendant and head inside.

At the age of 74, the two-time Oscar-winning movie legend is starring in Luck, his first television drama. Produced by director Michael Mann, it is set in the horseracing world and is the latest small-screen epic from HBO. I arrive a few minutes early and wait in a suite reserved by HBO, where Mann and David Milch, the writer of Luck and of the acclaimed western series Deadwood, are also doing interviews today.

Source: Full article @ Slate

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