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Dustin Hoffman is himself

He said: “Emma Thompson and I realised we had something in common – we’re both character actors, which means you’re not good-looking enough to be…

He said: “Emma Thompson and I realised we had something in common – we’re both character actors, which means you’re not good-looking enough to be the lead! So we said, ‘Why don’t we play this as close to ourselves as anything we’ve ever done?’

“I never argue with people, even friends, who say, ‘Oh, you just walked through Meet the Fockers. Oh, you were just yourself in Last Chance Harvey, you just walked through that!’ The truth is that every movie is difficult.”

The actor also admitted he never expected to land his breakthrough role in The Graduate.

He added to Time Out magazine: “In those days I hung out with Robert Duvall and Gene Hackman and we were certain we were never going to be romantic leads. We just hoped to be character actors who could earn enough to make a living for the rest of our lives. When The Graduate came about, I didn’t even want to try for it. I’d read the book and I thought it was a role made for Robert Redford. I was always going up for “character juvenile” roles – which meant you weren’t attractive!”

Old romantic Dustin Hoffman and co-star Emma Thompson kissed when they were reunited at the premiere.

Hoffman – famous for roles in The Graduate and Rain Man – joked with fans and embraced his co-star on the red carpet in London’s Leicester Square.

He admitted he jumped at the chance to work again with Thompson, 50, with whom he previously starred in Stranger Than Fiction in 2006.

“It’s a gift to be able to work with her, it’s a pleasure. She’s so charming and quick-witted.”

Hoffman, 71, admitted he is romantic at heart, saying: “I can only say I never tire of pulling a chair out for my wife or any other person, or of helping anyone out of their coats. You do this stuff, you’re enjoying life.”

In the film, Hoffman plays hapless New Yorker Harvey Shine, who befriends Thompson’s character Kate.

The romantic film is written and directed by Briton Joel Hopkins, whose acclaimed debut Jump Tomorrow landed him a 2002 Bafta for most promising newcomer.

The supporting cast includes Dame Eileen Atkins, Liane Balaban, James Brolin, Kathy Baker and Richard Schiff.

The film, set in London, was nominated for a Golden Globe in the comedy-musical category. It is released nationwide on Friday.

(C) BANG Media International