“Little Big Man” could be a way to describe the genius of Dustin Hoffman. A pint size acting phenomena who succumbed to consistent teasing, adolescent pimples, an inferiority complex and lousy high school grades. Mr Hoffman turned to the thespian arts because “nobody flunks acting”. He subsequently morphed into a giant screen phenomenon, a myth, a legend! His screen roles have left an indelible mark on humankind. Who could remain indifferent watching his compassionate interpretations of the gifted autistic in Rain Man? The dying freak in Midnight Cowboy? The desperate Ivy League lover in The Graduate? How come The Lord has gifted him with such supreme talent?
He is a Leo and that is a fact that needs to be recognised. Leos are big-hearted and when gifted, excessive! Obama is a Leo, the Queen Mum was a Leo! A Leo can be as different from any another Leo as chalk is from cheese yet they are usually “up there”, when it comes to big auras, big charisma, big emotions, no matter their age and no matter their social background. The unalterable fact is that Leos win! And that is our first explanation. Our second is more complex. Mercury in Virgo for example, which would make Mr Hoffman a catalyst of magnetic and intense communicative gifts. He will dissect a character, almost as if he was a brain surgeon, every detail perused over and every nuance examined under the microscopic of Virgo’s scrutiny. No matter the exhaustion that would ensue in this process, Mr Hoffman would go “profound” until he got it right. Why? Well because with Pluto in Cancer, he is obsessed by insecurity, in other words, the effect of his interpretation on the public. This tendency could be difficult for other actors to deal with on set, and many a director working with Mr. Hoffman just might not agree with Mr. Hoffman’s same perfectionist “vision” of a character. Few realise that the reason he is so thorough is because of his fear of criticism.
Who could imagine this genius would become virtually inconsolable when a negative critic bashes his performance? Well, Mr. Hoffman is not immune to what other people say, in fact his acting skills are born of a deep seated need to be recognised, not unusual for Leos, an almost adolescent yearning to say “Hey, look at me, look at how good I am!” to those past teasers, those unkind tormenters. He is too generous a person to want to “get even” though; he is an openhearted type of guy, a caring, loving husband! His two Oscars mean a lot less to Dustin than the safety and warmth of his family, to whom he is dedicated. In fact, he has managed to curtail some of his past super sensitive emotional reactions within a relationship and has matured in the way he approaches his loved ones. After a painful first marriage and divorce he has learnt his lessons. But he is still creative, an artist, a visionary and the fact that he might look like a stockbroker does not detract from the super sensitivity of his gigantean creative talents.
What gives really? because frankly there is nothing exceptional in his horoscope to reveal the secret of such wizardry? Except of course, Uranus in Taurus, in other words the channelling of the higher into the lower, the bringing onto the earth plane of the spiritual essence of his characters, rather like a shaman channels mystery Mr Hoffman’s characterisations take on a life of their own, he talks, eats and breathes them! And this is his divine gift. The capacity to go into the “Beyond” and pull down a soul from the ethers.
Finally we understand why he is indeed a complex personality, he could not be otherwise! He can sell a role, because he is that role. His interpretation of Arthur Miller’s “Death of Salesman”, a man standing up against all odds, a sensitive suffering guy dealing with the cruelty of the Fates is perhaps, his most “to the bone” performance, because in a way, he could have been that guy, if Destiny and the Sun in Leo had not stepped in and taken over! But no, it is more than that, it has to be faced, like most of the super gifted, Mr Dustin is a true Mystery!
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