Hook’ star Dante Basco reveals why Dustin Hoffman treated him as an ‘adversary’ on the set of Steven Spielberg’s 1991 hit

Getting a lead role in a super-sized scene for Steven Spielberg at just 15 years old is stressful enough. Just imagine how much more stressful it would be if one of the aforementioned movie stars seemed to hate your guts. This is the position Dante Basco finds himself in on the set of Spielberg’s Peter Pan sequel, Hook, which premiered in theaters 30 years ago, on December 11, 1990. The Filipino-American actor is cast as Rovio, the new leader of the boy bands, who clashes with adult Peter (played by Robin Williams) and Captain James Hook (Dustin) Hoffman’s Eternal Old – and Irreversible Evil.

As Pascoe told Yahoo Entertainment, Hoffman was pretty nasty to him during the first few weeks of production. “It’s been a long time since he’s been so hostile to me— very hostile,” the now 46-year-old actor reveals. And I remember saying, “I’m nervous! This guy is Dustin Hoffman. Why is he in my ear so belligerent! He’d say things, and I’d say, ‘Why are you saying that to me? I’m just trying to be a good little actor.'” (Watch the video interview above.)

In the end, Pascoe’s acting coach at the time explained to the stunned teenager that there was a way to Hoffman’s madness: specifically graduation The star was a method actor. My coach said, ‘It’s Captain Hook, and you’re Rovio. You’re his opponent, and he’s setting up such a dynamic right now that when it’s time for the spectator to work with you, he’s not going to play. He’s serious, you know?”

Dustin Hoffman as Captain James Hook in the 1991 Steven Spielberg movie, Hook. (Photo: TriStar Pictures/Everett Collection)

Coach Pasco also gave his pupil the secret to sailing around Hoffman’s cynical style – unleashing his inner movie architect. He said, ‘Do what James Dean did with Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando: he can just follow them around and his questions.’ So I’ll be on set [with Dustin] And I say, “I just watched lenny Last night, or I started talking about midnight cowboy And he’ll start to look at me and understand, “Oh, that kid is the actor! “

Pascoe’s approach certainly paid off. When it came time to film Rufio’s big death scene, he turned to his former off-screen opponent (and on-screen killer) for help. “He became my acting coach for those days when she was on set,” he now recalls. “We literally shot her for two or three days, and every single day he was there guiding me through a death scene. When you act so closely with one of your heroes, it’s phenomenal.”

And here’s the craziest thing: Rovio is almost not dead. According to Basco, at one point, the plan was to let the Mohawked warrior survive the final battle with Captain Hook so he could star in Lost Boys. Separate TV show. “We were in contracts… and it didn’t work out,” he says, adding that for a long time he wasn’t sure if he actually signed Rovio’s death warrant by stalling on signing the TV show contract. “But years later, I spoke to [Hook screenwriter] Jim in Hart, who said, “I’ve always wanted Rovio to die, because he represents the darkness and danger of Neverland. In order for Peter Pan to go, ‘I need to get my kids out of Neverland,’ there must be something horrible.”

And to the millions and millions of young viewers who grew up with them HookIt’s hard to be more dangerous than watching the reckless Rovio die in Peter’s arms. “A whole generation of kids freaked out,” says Pascoe proudly. “But I also think that’s one of the things that makes Rovio so iconic. Rovio’s death reinforced him that thing you always remember. I’m a copy of Bambi’s mom!”

Dante Pasco played his breakout role as Rovio opposite Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg's 1991 family favorite, Hook (Photo: TriStar Pictures/Everett Group)

Dante Pasco played his breakout role as Rovio opposite Robin Williams’ Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 family favourite, Hook. (Photo: TriStar Pictures/Everett Collection)

Compared to Hoffman, Pascoe says acting opposite Williams was a breeze. “Robin was very loving to me,” he says of the late actor, recalling how they bonded over their shared love of Filipino culture and food. (Williams’ second wife, Marsha Garces Williams, is part Filipino.) He had a way of putting his arm around you and expressing like, ‘Welcome to the party.

Speaking of parties, Basco remembers HookThe famous food fight scene was a real one, especially when Rovio and Peter fought their iconic battle of humiliation. “I did exactly what they wrote because I am the type of actor who only needs to know [my lines], Says. Williams, on the other hand, had a different approach. He was doing what was so masterfully written. Then he looks at Stephen and goes, ‘Can I [improvise] one line?’ And then it will go!

“When you act with it, you pretty much have three options,” Pascoe continues. “You can say your lines and then get stuck. Or you can try to improvise with him, but he’s like Marlon Brando from improvisation! Or you can say, ‘I’ll let him talk and then cut him off.'” “I tried a lot of different strategies, but I was just a 15-year-old trying to keep up with one of the professors! But he was an amazing guy: he’s definitely a memorable sight and something people want to talk about all the time. When I’m at conferences, they want me to write this.” The stuff on Funko boxes, you know? A fart plant, a hard slug, cat vomit—all of that stuff.”

Video produced by Jane Kochak and edited by Jimmy Rhee

Hook Currently streaming on Sling TV.

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