It’s understandable if Dustin Hoffman, whose recent films have included roles in “The Cobbler,” “Little Fockers,” and voice-acting in the “Kung Fu Panda” movies, has a dim view of the current state of cinema. And in fact, the seven time Oscar nominee (he’s won twice) has a particularly grim assessment as such. However, he’s much more bullish on the small screen.
“I think right now television is the best that it’s ever been and I think that it’s the worst that film has ever been —in the 50 years that I’ve been doing it, it’s the worst,” he told The Independent. Zing.
Certainly, Hoffman’s recent roles perhaps suggest he hasn’t had the choicest crop to choose from, and it is telling that the meatiest role he’s had in recent memory was on Michael Mann‘s HBO series “Luck,” which was canceled after the first season. Yet Hoffman reflects that part of this is also the changing tides, and that his time in the spotlight is fading.
“The truth is that you come full circle. I was a freak accident, so I got a lead that happened to be ‘The Graduate‘ and it was like a light switch went on and I was an instant star,” he said. “For most actors, you start by playing [what would be] euphemistically called supporting roles. it’s not even the supporting role —it’s less than that, and if you are lucky, you build up to supporting roles and then to starring roles. And then you reach a certain age, and unfortunately women usually reach it earlier, and you are no longer the leading man, therefore you become the supporting actor, which many times is the mentor of the lead. That is full circle.”
So it looks like Hoffman has come all the way around. However, of all people, perhaps he should realize the industry works in cycles too, and this moment of “blockbusters first, everything else second” will pass as well.