Excerpted from an interview with Dustin Hoffman
...wasn't there a great instruction Mike Nichols gave you during the most intense work on The Graduate?
It was at times excruciating, because Nichols is very demanding, and thank God he was. I've been accused of being a perfectionist, which is kind of a silly designation when you think about it. I always say, it's like, you're going in for brain surgery, and the surgeon leans over and says, 'I just want you to know I'm not a perfectionist, so don't worry, I'm a nice guy.'
I think we all learned from Nichols. He took me aside one day when I was tired, not focusing well on the scene, and very quietly gave me that piercing look ofhis and said, 'You're never going to get a chance to do this scene again as long as you live, and you're going to see it one day up there on the screen.
(from Fred Schruers 'Tale of Hoffman,' Premiere
, June 2003)
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