Child actor Gaby Hoffman sounds off on directors, costars, and Madonna
NEW YORK—Gaby Hoffman is only 10 years old, but she has a lot to say. In a recent interview with Hoffman, who plays Julie Kavner’s youngest daughter in Nora Ephron’s This Is My Life, the actor expounded on a number of subjects, including life with her mother, Viva, who starred in several of Andy Warhol’s underground movies. Her father is daytime drama actor Anthony Herrerra. She co-starred in two other films prior to This Is My Life: Phil Alden Robinson’s Field of Dreams, in which she played Kevin Costner’s daughter; and John Hughes’s Uncle Buck, starring John Candy, in which she played the sister of Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin.
On her directors:
Robinson had to bribe me, because there was no way I was going to do anything for him any other way. He didn’t know anything about children. I don’t know if I could have made the movie if it hadn’t been for Kevin. He was really nice and supportive, but Robinson was awful to me. And John Hughes was just as bad. He acted as though I didn’t exist. He focused on John Candy and Macaulay. All my experiences working with male directors were horrible. It was so much better working with Nora. I was really excited about working with women. This was like working with a family. It’s such a good movie. Uncle Buck was pathetic.
On Macaulay Culkin:
He is the worst brat. Mac is really competitive. He used to say things like, “I’m older than you; I’m smarter than you.” I haven’t talked to him since then. I can’t see him as an adult actor, because he can’t act. He played himself in Home Alone, but when he tried to act in My Girl, he was awful. He has to be himself to be any good. I can’t understand why people like Home Alone. It was the worst movie I’ve ever seen.
On New York’s famous Chelsea Hotel, where she has lived since she was a baby:
Someone shot our door out two days ago. My next door neighbour got raped. We decided it was time to leave, so we’re getting out of there next month. Actually, we got evicted. But I think it’s time to move to a place that is less exciting. I think we should move to the Rockies.
On meeting Madonna:
She was in our hotel the other day visiting someone and she was wearing a fur coat. She’s supposed to be against the killing of animals for furs, so I went up to her and said, “I thought you were against that kind of thing, Madonna.” So, she turned to her bodyguard and said: “The little girl thinks I’m against that kind of thing, arrgghh,” and laughed at me. She’s so obnoxious. I hate her.
On her mother’s side of the family:
All my cousins steal things. They’re just a bunch of thieves. My whole family is like that. You put something down for a second and they steal it. You never see it again.
On her father:
He left when I was a baby and came back when I was five. But I haven’t seen him for a year. He came to get me a year ago and I held onto the bed and screamed so loud that the police finally came to the hotel. I absolutely hate that man.