The Movie 'Mad Men's' Jared Harris Has 'Seen A Million Times' For Mad Men actor Jared Harris, who portrayed Lane Pryce on the AMC drama, Sydney Pollack's comedy Tootsie is a film that he never gets tired of watching. "It's inspiring," Harris says.
NPR logo

The Movie Jared Harris Has 'Seen A Million Times'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Movie Jared Harris Has 'Seen A Million Times'

The Movie Jared Harris Has 'Seen A Million Times'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


All summer long, we're asking filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, about the movies that they never get tired of, the ones they can watch a million times, including this one from the actor who plays Lane Pryce in the hit TV show "Mad Men."

JARED HARRIS: My name is Jared Harris. I am an actor. And the film that I've seen a million times and would like to sit through a million more is "Tootsie" directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Bill Murray, George Gaynes, who's one of my favorite characters in the whole film and plays John Van Horn.


HARRIS: I saw it when I was in college at Duke University. I remember very clearly going to see it. I was a budding actor myself, and it was inspiring in many ways. You know, that opening sequence of the film where you see Michael teaching his students, the concentration and the seriousness with which they take it was - it was inspiring.


DUSTIN HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) Oh, no. No, no, no. Keep working.

HARRIS: You know, he's an actor who is so difficult to work with because he's such a perfectionist.


SYDNEY POLLACK: (as George Fields) You've got one of the worst reputations in this town, Michael. Nobody will hire you. I can't even sign you up for a commercial. You played a tomato for 30 seconds. They went half a day over because you wouldn't sit down.

HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) Yes, it was illogical.

POLLACK: (as George Fields)You were a tomato. A tomato has no logic.

HARRIS: He can only get a job playing a woman. So he dresses up as a woman and gets a job on a soap opera to raise money for a play that he and his roommate, played by Bill Murray, want to put on.


BILL MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) Say something.

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) How you do, (unintelligible). Nice to meet you.

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) You look very nice. Nice

HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) The hair's not right.

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) No. It's kind of high. You've got kind of a hard Johnson's thing going on.

HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) Well, do something. I can't be late my first day. Come on. Easy, easy.

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) Well, it works.

HOFFMAN: (as Michael Dorsey) But what?

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) Don't play hard to get.

HARRIS: Dustin Hoffman's performance in the movie as Michael Dorsey and as Dorothy Michaels is funny, and it's moving, and there are times when you forget that he is Michael Dorsey, and you get completely involved in the character that he's created.


HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) I'm afraid, Dr. Boston, that you have underestimated me. If you want to win me over, you'll have to deal with my mind and not my lips.

HARRIS: My favorite scene in the movie - wow. There's a scene later on in the story where John Van Horn shows up to try and seduce her. And she won't let him into his apartment, and he starts serenading her from the street, singing, you know, in his baritone.


GEORGE GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) (Singing) I'll know when there...

HARRIS: (Singing) I'll know when my love comes.

And so he has to let him in because he's making such a scene. And there's this really funny scene where he basically tries to sort of force himself on her.


GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) Dorothy.

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) Yes?

GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) I want you.

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) I beg your pardon?

GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) I've never wanted a woman this much.

HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) Oh please, John. Please...

HARRIS: And Bill Murray arrives just in the nick of time and saves Dustin from the clutches of John Van Horn's ardor.


HOFFMAN: (as Dorothy Michaels) Jeff Slater, John Van Horn.

MURRAY: (as Jeff Slater) How do you do?

GAYNES: (as John Van Horn) How do you do?

MURRAY: Gee, I hope I haven't...

GAYNES: No, I hope I haven't. I want you to know for the record, Jeff, that nothing happened here tonight.

MURRAY: Thank you, John.

HARRIS: And it's so brilliant.


RAZ: That's actor Jared Harris talking about the movie that he could watch a million times, "Tootsie." This December, Harris will star as General Ulysses S. Grant in Stephen Spielberg's biopic "Lincoln." Harris is best known for his role as Lane Pryce on the TV drama "Mad Men." The show's fifth season ends tomorrow night on AMC.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.