(Alex Needham’s interview appeared in the Guardian, 3/6; via Pam Green.)
Last Sunday evening, Dustin Hoffman wasn’t at the Oscars but watching the New York Knicks play Miami Heat at basketball. His friend Spike Lee happened to be there too, pointedly dressed in a tuxedo. Laughing, Hoffman asked him as he passed: “Are we making a statement?”
Lee, of course, was boycotting the event in protest at the lack of nominees of colour. While sympathetic to the cause, Hoffman was simply enjoying a night out. Though he has won two Academy Awards for best actor – for Kramer vs Kramer in 1980 and Rain Man in 1989 – the Oscars are not his idea of fun.
“I wasn’t invited, I wasn’t nominated and I would never go just to go,” he says. “It’s one of the worst shows in town if you’re there. Because they break for commercials, the show just goes on and on. The Baftas are wonderful; you sit in a theatre, there’s champagne, you can get drunk and you just watch the show, Leonard Fry [sic] or whatever from beginning to end. So I was very happy to be at the Knicks game.”