Dustin Hoffman is the latest to enter the nation’s gun control debate, telling NPR radio last week he disapproves of gun usage in films and that Hollywood discriminates against actors who don’t want to use guns in their films.
“I have always felt passionate about the fact that the audience is identifying (with movie violence) in a very fraudulent way,” Hoffman said. “I don’t find anything interesting about a gun. A gun is there to threaten or kill.”
Hoffman’s objections towards guns started in the 1960’s, when a film producer he worked with threatened to shoot him over an issue with work.
“I don’t think people understand what it’s like to have a gun pointed at you,” he said. “When it happened to me (it was) after Kennedy (US President John F Kennedy) had just been assassinated. I was in Boston. I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to take a hit’ and every second you are feeling the bullet go straight through you … You’re in immediate shock. I’ve never forgotten that feeling … It was a guy who was part of a theater company on the producing end … He came out and pointed this gun …”
The 75-year-old Jewish actor said he attempted to stay way from using guns in his films throughout his career– although he did use one in his 1970 film, “Little Big Man,” in 1971 in “Straw Dogs” and again in “Hook” in 1991– because he didn’t think guns should be used in the entertainment industry. Hoffman added that directors would often use guns and violence in their films to boost the plot’s excitement since “the script is lacking,” and hinted that his career might have suffered because of his feelings.
“If you are not holding a gun, and that is something I have always refused to do, then suddenly this person who was always offered leading roles, suddenly gets offered supporting parts then you… start getting offered cameos,” he added.