Together with Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep starred in the 1979 American judicial drama film Kramer vs. Kramer. The film, written and directed by Robert Benton, is based on the 1977 novel of the same name by Avery Corman and tells the tale of a couple’s divorce, its effects on their young son, and their parenting philosophies.

The movie managed to touch on topics including gender roles, work-life balance, fathers’ rights, and how single parents handle their lives as it continued to study the psychology and effects of divorce on people. Both the public and the reviewers praised Kramer vs. Kramer, but it was also claimed that the actress had touted up with the actor while filming. Let’s find out more.

Also read: “You’re a toy!”: Meryl Streep Screamed At Toy Story Star, Embarrassed Him By Mimicking

Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman
Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman allegedly crossed a line with Meryl Streep while filming Kramer vs. Kramer

Kramer vs. Kramer became one of the highest-grossing movies of 1979 and Meryl Streep, who played Joanna Stern Kramer in the movie, and Dustin Hoffman, who played Ted Kramer in the movie, were highly appreciated for their acting skills. The movie made Streep a star but she had to go through a tough time while filming the movie.

In a profile with Vanity Fair, it was reported that Dustin Hoffman was angered after the actress got a few things changed to the scene and he told her,

“Meryl, why don’t you stop carrying the flag for feminism and just act the scene.”

In her interview with The New York Times, the actress addressed the rumors about her and her co-star having a hard time while filming,

Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman
Meryl Streep says that Dustin Hoffman slapped her in one of the first scenes they filmed

“This was my first movie, and it was my first take in my first movie, and he just slapped me. And you see it in the movie. It was overstepping”. She, however, added that it’s always tricky because when someone’s an actor and they are in a scene where they have to feel free.

In an interview with Time magazine, she said that the actor groped her; “He came up to me and said, ‘I’m DustinburpHoffman,’ and he put his hand on my breast. ‘What an obnoxious pig,’ I thought.”  According to Erin Carlson, the actor did apologize for their first meeting, although neither of them talked about exactly how that apology went down.

Also read: “We had to steal the shot”: Dustin Hoffman’s Most Iconic Line From $44 Million Movie Almost Cost Him His Life

Dustin Hoffman defended himself from the accusations of hitting Meryl Streep

The actor who played Ted Kramer in the movie went ahead to clarify that he did not slap Meryl Streep but he was just acting out on her through the movie throughout the stuff he was feeling toward the wife that he was divorcing in real life. The actor was separating from Anne Byrne at the time and said as quoted in Huffington Post;

“It was the first time I ever made a movie where I was living through what I was acting — unlike a writer or painter, who gets up in the morning and can exorcise what they’re going through. It’s quite unusual to be getting a divorce, my first and only divorce, at the time I’m shooting a movie about a man getting a divorce.”

It was also known that the actor had indeed decided to cross a line with the actress, as when he taunted the actress about her late partner John Cazale, who had passed away in 1978, just after they had ended filming.

Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman
Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer

Michael Schulman, in his book Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, noted “Dustin Hoffman knew about this story and decided to make Meryl emotional in the ugliest way possible. Before filming a scene, he began to taunt Meryl, joking about John and the disease that killed him.” 

It was further mentioned that the actor did not stop there as he whispered his late partner’s name in her ear during a courtroom scene until she started crying. These incidents were never talked about.

Also read: “I’ve been asking for that job”: Not Even Marvel Fame Could Help Scarlett Johansson Land Her 1 Acting Dream She Desperately Wants to Make Her Daughter Happy

Meryl Streep says Dustin Hoffman denies the slap incident ever took place

While appearing on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, she was asked about how it was for her while working with Dustin Hoffman, to which she replied that it was good but it was weird, because in one of the very first scenes they shot at the time when she was leaving and was properly upset and she was getting her things and walked down the hallway and Hoffman looked at her and slapped her as hard as he could.

Streep says that one can see that in the movie, as well as that the hand mark was visible, adding that “I was kind of shocked but it set me up for the right feeling for him.” The host asked the actress if he did it on purpose, to which she mentioned that he did it off-screen and noted that the actor denied it that it happened.

Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman
Meryl Streep says Dustin Hoffman denies the incident

Jonathan Ross asked Meryl Streep if she felt pleased that Dustin Hoffman did that so that she could perform with the right emotion or she would have acted on her own, to which she said she could have acted on her own. She goes on to say that he is an amazing actor and she loves him, but she was mad at him that day.

Source: YouTube

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