His new film 'Little Fockers' is all about the difficulty of married life -- and Dustin Hoffman doesn't think it's fiction. If it were up to him, we'd all be in arranged marriages.
"There is nothing more unnatural than family or marriage. That's why they're both so difficult," he said at the 'Little Fockers' New York press junket. "You just wake up and suddenly clunk, you're ready. 'Okay, I guess that's it.'"
So, the solution? The twice-married actor (though happily wed now, it seems) said that we shouldn't even bother with choosing who we marry.
"Arranged marriages I think make a lot of sense because you're not under the pressure of being in love. It's an easy contract. You don't have to like each other and then whatever happens, happens."
Co-star and junket partner Owen Wilson was a bit balky on the premise, saying, "It does seem to take some of the romance out of courting though." Hoffman was unmoved.
"There's nothing wrong with courting or romance, it just shouldn't have to go into a contractual phase, which is marriage."
A heartwarming message for the holiday season -- though not exactly the message 'Little Fockers' is trying to convey, perhaps.
There were a handful of other memorable quotes from the junket. A select few:
Hoffman, on Wilson's Kevin's unending love for Teri Polo's Pam, who is married to Ben Stiller's Greg in the film:
I think that he should wind up with Teri Polo because I don't think that's a good marriage. That's a bad marriage, Ben and Teri. And I think that we start off the next one with Teri having a tattoo of Owen on her back, not necessarily just his face.
Wilson, on his character's zany development:
Well, I think it did seem like it was a progression where in the first one he says, 'Who better to model yourself after than JC?' And so he took that and now he's kind of moved more into this inner faith spiritual Zen kind of guru while still being a Wall Street rich guy. It was just funny stuff that we were coming up with.
Hoffman, on his wife breaking "cardinal rules" on their first date - and then his interplay with Wilson:
Yes we did [sleep together on the first date]. This was going to be her first movie star, her first older man, her first ex - someone who had broken up with their wife - and the first date and she did all four. And then she said I ruined it by calling the next day. That probably went against every romantic advice because she told me later that her grandmother always said, 'If you give away the milk, you have to buy the cow,' or something. What is that?... They won't buy the cow!
Wilson: That's not true, is it? [Laughs] In fact, it's more likely if you love the milk, you're going to buy the cow.
Hoffman: Before your question I want Owen to expand on that. It's not true?
Wilson: If you have a great glass of cold milk that's really refreshing, you'd be even more inclined not to let that cow go.
Hoffman: Right - and you try to find some chocolate chip cookies.