Mike Nichols’s American classic The Graduate launched the career of Dustin Hoffman and made him one of the most sought-after actors of his generation. Up to that point, Hoffman had mainly been performing off-Broadway and taking small roles in film and television. But his turn as Benjamin Braddock, a befuddled college graduate who returns to his parents’ home and falls into a romantic affair with an older woman, earned him an Academy Award nomination and set the stage for his illustrious career.
Our release of The Graduate—out this week on Blu-ray and DVD—features a new interview with Hoffman in which he shares about the life-changing experience of working on the film. In the clip below, he talks about his initial screen test for the role (opposite Katharine Ross), and how Nichols helped him hone his nervous energy into one of modern cinema’s most memorable performances.