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Dustin Hoffman Praises Tom Cruise in New Film

November 28, 1988 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Dustin Hoffman, known as a hard-working perfectionist on a movie set, says his newest costar, Tom Cruise, is equally driven.

In the upcoming ″Rain Man,″ Hoffman, 51, plays an autistic man with remarkable powers of memory - and a $3 million inheritance. Cruise, 26, plays his brother, who wants the money.

Hoffman says he has read about how difficult he is to work with, so obsessed with detail that one director reportedly called him a ″microsurgeon .″

″In this age we live in, one has to be labeled something,″ he said in the December issue of Gentlemen’s Quarterly. ″You have to be either a drug addict or a perfectionist or a hothead or a rebel or a helluva nice guy. And I really didn’t have any moniker attached to me for a long time, except for being short and funny-looking.″

As for Cruise, Hoffman says, ″He’s a demon. He gets up early, he works out, he goes home early, he studies, he works out again at night. ... And he always wanted to rehearse.″

Cruise, who starred with Paul Newman in ″The Color of Money,″ said he learned from his experience.

″What you get from great actors like Newman and Hoffman is where to focus your energies and what to worry about and what not to worry about,″ Cruise said. ″Because as a young actor, you’re worried about everything.″