Nobody can deny the warmth and comfort-movie joy of The Holiday. And despite us rewatching it every Christmas, we were delighted to learn something new about Dustin Hoffman‘s small cameo. Turns out, he was never meant to be in the film.
According to The Holiday’s DVD commentary (which we think should be listed as a protected artifact), Dustin Hoffman was grabbing lunch near the set when he saw cameras. Never one to miss an opportunity to star in new movies, even if briefly, Hoffman stuck around for one cute reason: he was a friend of Nancy Meyers.
Meyers has directed some of the best romcoms, including The Holiday, and later explained on an Instagram story that she and Hoffman had a connection through their daughters, and why she asked him to cameo.
About that day on set, Meyers wrote, “That was amazing. We were shooting with Kate [Winslet] and Jack [Black] in a Blockbuster. Dustin had lunch next door [and] saw that a movie was shooting and [stepped] in. Our daughters are best friends so he joined me and watched a little bit.”
In the scene that was being shot at the time, Black and Winslet’s characters chat about iconic movie music while sifting through Blockbuster’s DVDs. Black picks up a copy of The Graduate, which Hoffman starred in, and begins singing the music.
Seeing this, Meyers explained, “It took me a couple of takes to realize they were actually discussing the music from The Graduate so I asked him if [he’d] like to be in the scene and that was that!”
The moment is lovely, as is the rest of the film. The Holiday is one of the rare 2000s movies that has aged delightfully instead of souring. We feel it’s one of the best Christmas movies to revisit, but we judge romcoms by a different set of standards than we do other movies — if they make us feel good, that’s enough.
Knowing Hoffman’s inclusion was a happy accident will be a fun bit of trivia to bring up with friends on movie night, and the tidbit is going straight onto our list of reasons why we should never let DVD commentaries die. Think of all the little details we’d miss without them.
Happy holidays! For more heartwarming content, find out where the Elf cast is now, learn about the complicated story behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, or check out the best alternative Christmas movies you should keep an eye out for this season. With some days off work(we hope), you also might want to see our list of best movies, which is overflowing with brilliant recommendations.