New York — At a press conference last week in Manhattan’s Ritz-Carlton, Dustin Hoffman’s turn at the podium with “Little Fockers” cohort Own Wilson was spent being silly. He made a little hat and a little cloth bra out of a napkin. He ordered a platter of 20 grilled cheeses for his press audience.
But the game of catch of one-liners between he and Wilson was broken by HitFix’s question: Why did he decide to return to the franchise, particularly considering his small amount of screen time?
Only a few months ago, at the end of summer, Hoffman wasn’t even in Ben Stiller’s original screenplay, with outlets like Deadline reporting salary negotiations were in the middle of the omission. With early audience testing indicating the film needed to up the funny, something had to give. He was added in all-new scenes after the box office-topper was already in post-production.
“I said if the stuff that Owen and I have to do in the film — if we”re allowed to improvise — then I”ll do it,” Hoffman explained. “And they kept their word and they let us improvise. And it”s not in the film.”
Wilson actually seemed surprised that the particular scene, filmed in the tent near the end of the film, hadn’t made the cut. But it ended up being his decision to take part of it out.
“I hope there”s a DVD of the deleted [scenes],” Hoffman said, then addressing Wilson, explaining what was left out of their confrontation. “We had a whole thing together.”
“They cut that?” Wilson asked.
“During rehearsal, remember I go …”
“Oh, yeah. Where you slap me.”
“Yes and then we changed it to a hug.”
“I have a confession to make. I cut that.”
“You seemed very fit. I didn”t…”
“You never told me that.”
At the end of “Little Fockers,” its creators teed it up for a fourth Focker adventure. Hoffman’s interest in participating may be even more limited.
“Little Fockers” was released to theaters on Wednesday. Read HitFix’s review here.