Dustin Hoffman fights tears, gets emotional remembering "Tootsie"

US actor Dustin Hoffman takes part in the TV show "Le Grand Journal" on a set of French television channel Canal Plus on March 27, 2013 in Paris, to present his first film as director entitled "Quartet". AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCOIS GUILLOT

Dustin Hoffman gets emotional about his role in "Tootsie" in a video clip that went viral this week. He's seen fighting back tears while talking about female beauty and his decision to star in the 1982 film, in which he plays an unemployed actor who disguises himself as a woman to find work.

The Mary Sue recently posted the clip, an American Film Institute 2012 interview with Hoffman, 75, where he says "Tootsie" was "never a comedy" for him; taking part in the award-winning film reinforced the hard-to-meet high standards of beauty for women.

He talked about seeing himself in makeup for the first time in the role of Dorothy Michaels, admittedly being surprised by his appearance: "I was shocked that I wasn't more attractive. I said 'Now you have me looking like a woman, now make me beautiful.' I thought I should be beautiful if I was going to be a woman, I would want to be as beautiful as possible."

"It was at that moment I had an epiphany, and I went home and started crying," Hoffman explained in the segment. "Talking to my wife, I said I have to make this picture, and she said, 'Why?' And I said, 'Because I think I am an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen. And I know that if I met myself at a party, 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 to ask them out.' She says, 'What are you saying?' And I said, 'There's too many interesting women I have...not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.'"

Watch the video below to find out what else Hoffman thinks about the part: