Davis recalled how Hoffman had told her, while filming 1982's "Tootsie," to not sleep with her costars and even gave her a line to immediately shut down any unwanted sexual advances.
She said he told her: "Say, 'Well, you're very attractive. I would love to, but it would ruin the sexual tension between us.'"
"And I saved that advice away," Davis explained. "After 'Tootsie,' my modelling agent took me and a couple of other actor-slash-models to Hollywood to meet casting directors. He happened to know Jack Nicholson, and every single night Jack Nicholson had dinner with us."
She then went on to recount having to use Hoffman's advice.
"Then one day there was a note under the door that said, 'Please call Jack Nicholson at this number.' I was, like, I can't believe it! So I said, 'Hello, Mr. Nicholson. This is Geena the model. You called me?' He said, 'Hey, Geena. When is it gonna happen?' I was, like, Oh, no—why didn’t I realize this is what it was going to be about?"
"But it immediately came into my head what to say," Davis said. "'Uh, Jack, I would love to. You're very attractive. But I have a feeling we're going to work together at some point in the future, and I would hate to have ruined the sexual tension between us.'"
"He was, like, 'Oh, man, where'd you get that?'" Davis recalled. "So it worked."
"Dying of Politeness" is available wherever books are sold.