Hometown: Roslyn Heights, Long Island
Least favorite thing about biz: Auditions
Influences: Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Gene Hackman
Where you might have seen him: He had a small role in “Conspiracy Theory.”
“I was so nervous I changed my lines in the first take, but they kept them. They got a laugh in the movie and got me decent representation.
“Rick Hoffman plays the devoutly chauvinistic and generally offensive stockbroker Freddie Sacker on “The $treet,” this fall’s new primetime series from Fox. Of the reactions to his character so far, his favorite is “colossal sphincter,” which he finds very heartening. “The more insults I get, the happier I get,” he says.
Created by Darren Star, who brought us “Sex and the City,” “Melrose Place,” and “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “The $treet” is a hormone-driven exploration of twenty-somethings at work and play on Wall Street.
Landing such a plum portrayal of misanthropy, it must be said, did not come naturally to Hoffman. “Personally, that kind of guy makes me ill,” he says, “but I will say that playing him is fun because I find it interesting to explore what’s underneath to cause all that anger and hurt.”
Hoffman finagled an audition for the part out of sheer desperation. “My third pilot season was about to pass without an audition,” he recalls. “I told myself I was not going to go through another without having a fair shot.”
Now that he’s Freddie Sacker, Hoffman had to say goodbye to his waiting job of five years at Jerry’s Deli in L.A. and move back to his native New York.
It was an eventful farewell. His fellow waiters/aspiring actors at Jerry’s demanded that he announce to his last table that he was leaving and why. At the table in question sat two women. Given his mood (“let’s just say I was relaxed”), he got into a frisky exchange with one of them, who seemed to enjoy the repartee. Toward the end of their meal, he was asked if he knew who that woman was.
“It was Angela Bassett,” Hoffman says. “I didn’t recognize her.”
As required, he announced that he was leaving and why. “She came over to wish me well, shook my hand and gave me a big tip,” he says. “What a way to go out.”