12:31pm

Sat June 9, 2012
Movies I've Seen A Million Times

The Movie Jared Harris Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 12:28 pm

The Weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actor Jared Harris, whose credits include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and AMC's TV drama Mad Men, the movie he can't get enough of is Sydney Pollack's Tootsie. "It's just so brilliant," says Harris.


Interview Highlights

On when he saw the movie for the first time

"I saw it when I was at college, at Duke University. I remember very clearly going to see it. I was a budding actor myself and it was inspiring in many ways. You know, that opening sequence of the film where you see Michael teaching his students — the concentration and the seriousness with which they take it — it was inspiring."

On Dustin Hoffman's performance in Tootsie

"Dustin Hoffman's performance in the movie as Michael Dorsey and as Dorothy Michaels is funny and it's moving and there are times when you forget that he is Michael Dorsey and you get completely involved in the character that he's created."



Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

All summer long, we're asking filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, about the movies that they never get tired of, the ones they can watch a million times, including this one from the actor who plays Lane Pryce in the hit TV show "Mad Men."

JARED HARRIS: My name is Jared Harris. I am an actor. And the film that I've seen a million times and would like to sit through a million more is "Tootsie" directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Bill Murray, George Gaynes, who's one of my favorite characters in the whole film and plays John Van Horn.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

HARRIS: I saw it when I was in college at Duke University. I remember very clearly going to see it. I was a budding actor myself, and it was inspiring in many ways. You know, that opening sequence of the film where you see Michael teaching his students, the concentration and the seriousness with which they take it was - it was inspiring.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOOTSIE")

DUSTIN HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) Oh, no. No, no, no. Keep working.

HARRIS: You know, he's an actor who is so difficult to work with because he's such a perfectionist.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOOTSIE")

SYDNEY POLLACK: (as George Fields) You've got one of the worst reputations in this town, Michael. Nobody will hire you. I can't even sign you up for a commercial. You played a tomato for 30 seconds. They went half a day over because you wouldn't sit down.

HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) Yes, it was illogical.

POLLACK: (as George Fields)You were a tomato. A tomato has no logic.

HARRIS: He can only get a job playing a woman. So he dresses up as a woman and gets a job on a soap opera to raise money for a play that he and his roommate, played by Bill Murray, want to put on.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOOTSIE")

BILL MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) Say something.

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) How you do, (unintelligible). Nice to meet you.

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) You look very nice. Nice

HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) The hair's not right.

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) No. It's kind of high. You've got kind of a hard Johnson's thing going on.

HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) Well, do something. I can't be late my first day. Come on. Easy, easy.

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) Well, it works.

HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) But what?

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) Don't play hard to get.

HARRIS: Dustin Hoffman's performance in the movie as Michael Dorsey and as Dorothy Michaels is funny, and it's moving, and there are times when you forget that he is Michael Dorsey, and you get completely involved in the character that he's created.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOOTSIE")

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) I'm afraid, Dr. Boston, that you have underestimated me. If you want to win me over, you'll have to deal with my mind and not my lips.

HARRIS: My favorite scene in the movie - wow. There's a scene later on in the story where John Van Horn shows up to try and seduce her. And she won't let him into his apartment, and he starts serenading her from the street, singing, you know, in his baritone.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOOTSIE")

GEORGE GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) (Singing) I'll know when there...

HARRIS: (Singing) I'll know when my love comes.

And so he has to let him in because he's making such a scene. And there's this really funny scene where he basically tries to sort of force himself on her.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOOTSIE")

GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) Dorothy.

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) Yes?

GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) I want you.

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) I beg your pardon?

GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) I've never wanted a woman this much.

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) Oh please, John. Please...

HARRIS: And Bill Murray arrives just in the nick of time and saves Dustin from the clutches of John Van Horn's ardor.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOOTSIE")

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) Jeff Slater, John Van Horn.

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) How do you do?

GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) How do you do?

MURRAY: Gee, I hope I haven't...

GAYNES: No, I hope I haven't. I want you to know for the record, Jeff, that nothing happened here tonight.

MURRAY: Thank you, John.

HARRIS: And it's so brilliant.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: That's actor Jared Harris talking about the movie that he could watch a million times, "Tootsie." This December, Harris will star as General Ulysses S. Grant in Stephen Spielberg's biopic "Lincoln." Harris is best known for his role as Lane Pryce on the TV drama "Mad Men." The show's fifth season ends tomorrow night on AMC. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.