Meryl Streep says Dustin Hoffman slapping her in Kramer vs. Kramer was 'overstepping'

Ben Arnold
Contributor

Meryl Streep has said that Dustin Hoffman slapping her across the face in the movie Kramer vs. Kramer was ‘overstepping’ what is appropriate on a film set.

Speaking to the New York Times, Streep recalls the moment from the 1979 Oscar-winner, explaining that it happened in the very first take of the movie.

“This is tricky because when you’re an actor, you’re in a scene, you have to feel free,” Streep said.

“I’m sure that I have inadvertently hurt people in physical scenes. But there’s a certain amount of forgiveness in that.

“But this was my first movie, and it was my first take in my first movie, and he just slapped me. And you see it in the movie. It was overstepping.”

Hoffman has been accused by a number of women of sexual harassment, as well as allegations that he exposed himself to a 16-year-old friend of his daughter’s, and that he sexually assaulted two women on the set of the movie Ishtar.

He has denied the claims.

In an interview unearthed from 1979, Streep herself revealed that Hoffman grabbed her breast during their first meeting, however, she’s since said that he apologised and that she considers the matter to be closed.

Going on to speak about the Hollywood sex scandal, Streep added: “I think those things are being corrected in this moment. And they’re not politically corrected; they’re fixed. They will be fixed, because people won’t accept it anymore. So that’s a good thing.

“I have experienced things, mostly when I was young and pretty. Nobody comes on to me [now]. So I wouldn’t have had that more recently. But back in the day, when everybody was doing cocaine, there was a lot of [expletive] behaviour that was inexcusable. But now that people are older, and more sober, there has to be forgiveness, and that’s the way I feel about it.”

She also spoke about Harvey Weinstein, who is currently facing dozens of accusations of rape, sexual assault and harassment, reiterating that she was unaware of his specific behaviour but knew of his reputation of ‘having girlfriends’.

“You make movies. You think you know everything about everybody. So much gossip. You don’t know anything,” she said.

“People are so inscrutable on a certain level. And it’s a shock. Some of my favourite people have been brought down by this, and [Weinstein’s] not one of them.

“I didn’t know that he was in any way abusing people. He never asked me to a hotel room. I don’t know how his life was conducted without people intimately knowing about it.”

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