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Turn lucky mistakes to your advantage

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Leaders make the most of happenstance. That’s exactly what movie director Barry Levinson did during the filming of “Rain Man,” according to one of its co-stars.

The movie, about a math genius with autism, played by Dustin Hoffman, and his slick salesman brother, played by Tom Cruise, includes a scene where they are crammed into a phone booth when Hoffman farts.

“That wasn’t written in the script,” Hoffman says. “We were waiting to do the shot and Barry Levinson had the earphones on. The door closed and I snuck one out. We’re tight in there, you know. And Cruise looked at me and said: ‘Did you fart?’ And I said ‘Yeah.’ But I stayed in character. ‘Fart.’ Barry heard it and he came running over in hysterics and said ‘That’s in the scene. Put it in wherever you want.’ That’s a good director, someone who takes advantage of accidents.”

—Adapted from “What I’ve Learned: Dustin Hoffman,” Cal Fussman, Esquire.

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