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Dustin Hoffman
by Kes Cross
Dustin Hoffman’s star is still burning bright. The self-confessed method actor has played a wide variety of roles, ranging from the title role in Tootsie and Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy through to more unexpected roles such as Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda. On the face of it, Hoffman is not conventional Hollywood material. So how have the stars helped him to overcome the short-sightedness of the film industry and use his inherent talent to become one of the most successful screen actors of all time?

Dustin is a Leo born in the Chinese Year of the Ox. Initially, he set out to pursue a career in medicine but, after a year at the Santa Monica College, he joined the Pasadena Playhouse. While this might seem a rash move to some, it is fairly typical of a Leo. Those born under the sign of the Lion are drawn to the spotlight and bubble with creativity. If these aspects of a Leo are left untapped, they will bubble away inside – rather like someone shaking a can of Coke – until they find an outlet. Leos use artistic endeavors as a form of psychic nourishment. However, rather than it being a selfish undertaking, Leos get an incredible ‘buzz’ from sharing an artistic experience, reveling in the energies that are shared by all at such an event.

Outwardly confident but riddled with insecurities

While Leos are outwardly confident and good at self-promotion, they are often riddled with insecurities, often about their personal appearance. For Hoffman, his unconventional looks were to initially work against him. He spent a long time supporting his unrealized career with a series of odd jobs, including working as a typist for the Yellow Pages Directory and as a fragrance tester for Maxwell House.

While this may have been frustrating for his leonine sign, the dedicated and patient Ox will have decided to exploit the situation. Consciously or not, Hoffman’s Ox will have guided him towards people watching - soaking up all the personality traits and characteristics of all the people he came into contact with. Where Leo is rash and impulsive, the Ox is patient and logical. In this case, Hoffman’s Eastern sign will have begun to lay the foundations for his much-praised versatility as an actor.

Shining in the smallest of roles

The Ox may well have been instrumental in Hoffman’s decision to enrol at the famous Actors Studio. With the material he had drawn from real life and an environment in which he was able to practice his craft, Hoffman was able to shine in the smallest of roles, causing him to be noticed by producer Sidney Pink, who subsequently cast him in Madigan’s Millions. This period of Hoffman’s life will have undoubtedly been lived under the reign of the Lion. A true Leo cannot resist being the center of attention, although not in an egotistical fashion. Rather, it is a desire to elevate everything in his kingdom to a level of psychic excellence through a creative process. As if to illustrate this point, Hoffman shared his talents by teaching his craft at a community college night school, basking in the psychic energies created by his students.

After a number of small television roles, Hoffman was cast in The Graduate and the beginning of his meteoric career as a film actor was cemented. His early roles such as Ratso Rizzo and Tootsie are very obviously created under the influence of the Lion. However, Hoffman is not a ‘showy’ actor. He has learned enough about his craft to be able to steal a scene with a mere look or a gesture, rather than trying to ‘out-act’ anyone else on the screen. This hints at the Ox tempering the Lion’s showboating tendencies. While the Lion will be desperate to make his mark, the Ox will have caused Hoffman to really consider what he learned at the Actors Studio and decide best how to employ it.

An ability to ‘tune in’

It is Hoffman’s ability to tune into both his astrological signs that have helped him portray such a wide range of characters. The Lion fuels his creative energies and thoughts, while the Ox allows him to take stock of what he has learned and put it to the best possible use.

In interview situations, Hoffman comes across as a very different man from the characters he portrays. While he is obviously fiercely intelligent, he is well known for his easy, laid-back company. When he is not working in front of the camera, Hoffman is very much guided by his Chinese star sign. He is continually observing people and using his psychic intuition to ‘read’ them, so that he might continue to learn more about the human condition. Both the Lion and the Ox are known for their hard working attitudes and, although Hoffman might appear to be a convivial man, his star signs will help to ensure that he is never really out of ‘work mode’. Instead, he is continually watching and observing, storing away ideas for his next film role.

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