Two of the most respected actors in Hollywood history, working together on one of the most acclaimed films, apparently just couldn’t get along. People magazine reports that a new biography of Meryl Streep provides accounts of conflict behind the scenes with her co-star Dustin Hoffman on the 1979 movie “Kramer vs. Kramer.”
The movie won five Oscars — Best Actor and Best Actress for Hoffman and Streep, along with Best Picture and two for Robert Benton, for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
“In the adaptation of his upcoming biography, ‘Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep,’ published by Vanity Fair, author Michael Schulman reveals that while Streep fought to make changes to her character, Joanna, to make her more sympathetic, Hoffman, who played Ted, would snap at her, chiding her to get on with filming,” People reports. “Worse, he taunted her about her recently deceased lover, filmmaker John Cazale, and once slapped her before a crucial scene.”
The report quotes this passage from Schulman’s book: “On the second day, they continued shooting the opening scene, when Ted follows the hysterical Joanna into the hallway. They shot the bulk of it in the morning and, after lunch, set up for some reaction shots. Dustin and Meryl took their positions on the other side of the apartment door. Then something happened that shocked not just Meryl but everyone on set. Right before their entrance, Dustin slapped her hard across the cheek, leaving a red mark.”
The report notes that Streep continued with the scene following the incident.