TV host recreates iconic films with golden-aged stars

·2 min read

Our series A More Perfect Union aims to show that what unites us as Americans is far greater than what divides us.   

A California TV host turned his passion into an opportunity to give back with "Tuesdays with Matthew," a program that sees senior citizens recreate famous movie scenes in a fun environment. By day, Matthew Hoffman works on various projects including lending his voice to narrate "Love Island" on CBS, but on his off-hours, he teaches performance to students as old as 97 years old.

"It changed my life," he told CBS News' Jamie Yuccas. "I have learned so much about being an adult, kindness, compassion."

His students seemed to feel the same. "I just want to take him home and keep him, but he won't come home with me," laughed Francesca Friday, an 85-year-old in Hoffman's class.

Hoffman moved to Hollywood 15 years ago to become a TV host, but realized he needed an audition reel. He revealed that he would drive by a local senior center every day when he decided to interview some "funny seniors" to add to his tape.

However, once inside, Hoffman was so inspired by the people he met that he created a scene-study class called "Tuesdays with Matthew." It soon became a place he filmed mini-movies from "Wizard of Oz" to "Gone with the Wind" using his golden-aged actors.

Hoffman not only directs the films, but he creates the costumes and props that are used and stores them in the back of his car. He then screens the films at a "premiere" where he invites the families of his actors to toast the performances with glasses of Ensure rather than champagne.

"I get so caught up in how funny the movies could be, how entertaining the movies could be, that it really started to turn into a vanity project," he said.

The seniors working with Matthew get more out of their projects than just laughs.

"Singing and music and reading these scripts, I forget my pain," senior Nick Pietroforte said. "I have serious spinal stenosis. Matthew doesn't give up on anybody."

Francesca Friday called Hoffman a "role model" despite their age gap. "I'm learning how to treat people, how to be kinder."

Hoffman's message to others is that volunteering "will change your life."

"Get off Instagram. Go for an hour. Change somebody's life – not even change a life, make their afternoon." 

Number of global coronavirus cases tops 60,000

New VA program works to keep military families together

Virtual reality program explores racism by putting users in others' shoes