Dustin Hoffman delivers an intense performance in family movie Hook. Playing antagonist captain Hook, he’s just the right level of cartoonishly evil for the fantasy movie. However, one co-star found Hoffman’s methods a bit much.
Dante Basco, who played Lost Boys leader Rufio in the Steven Spielberg movie, tells Yahoo Entertainment that Hoffman didn’t make his time filming the easiest – at first, anyway. “There was a long time where he was very adversarial to me – very adversarial,” Basco says. “And I remember going: ‘I’m stressed out! This guy is Dustin Hoffman. Why is he in my ear being very adversarial!’ He would say things, and I’d be like, ‘Why would you say that to me? I’m just trying to be a good little actor’.”
Basco’s acting coach told him that it’s all about how Rufio and Hook are enemies. Hoffman is “setting that dynamic up right now”, and Basco should go with it. “He said, ‘Do what James Dean did with Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando: he could just follow them around and ask them questions’,” Basco recalls. “So I would be on set [with Dustin] and say, ‘I just watched Lenny last night,’ or I’d start talking about Midnight Cowboy and he’d start looking at me and understanding, ‘Oh, this kid’s an actor!'”
Hoffman then became another mentor to Basco, especially for his climactic death scene. “We literally filmed it for like two or three days, and he was there everyday directing me through the death scene,” Basco says. “When you get to act that intimately with one of your heroes, it’s phenomenal.”
Hook turned 30 last year, and Basco has been talking about production on the adventure movie for the last while. He compared the late, great Robin Williams to the Genie from Aladdin, and took the time here to speak on Williams’s kindness. “He had a way of putting his arm around you and being like, ‘Welcome to the party’,” Basco remembers.