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David Poland

By David Poland

Philip Seymour Hoffman.


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31 Responses to “Philip Seymour Hoffman.”

  1. matt says:

    Shocked- I had to Google his name to find out the news. One of the greatest actors of our time.

  2. The Pope says:

    I just shake my head. First in shock. Then sadness. And now utter confusion. 46 yes, so he leaves behind a wife and three children and a great, great body of work. But as for the future, I think many people were only imagining what gems he would have given as he gotten older.

    To wit, Paul Thomas Anderson.

    The great thing about PSH is that he was, in a good way, older than his characters. He brought great emotional experience to them: there was a volume to the people he portrayed. He always left an impression and although he won he Oscar for Capote, my immediate memory is of Lester Bangs… “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.”

  3. Mariamu says:

    Just devastated. This is so sad,

  4. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    One of the greatest ever.
    A devastated wife and three young kids
    Be sad but be angry too
    I see many people saying Fuck Heroin.
    I say fuck you Seymour.
    You knew man, you fucking knew.

  5. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Horrible news this. One of the best actors of this generation who scorched the screen in almost everything he did. Right now I think I’ll watch Charlie Wilson’s War, where he gets in one absolutely world-class rant early in the film, but honestly you could list his great moments and performances for days. Even in weaker fare like Twister or Patch Adams, with no help from the material, he still managed to build a character for himself and be affecting. That’s something only the great actors can do. A big loss far too soon.

  6. Lynch VanSant says:

    I’m stunned and saddened by the loss of such a great actor. Being the same age as I am, it hits me at the loss of all the potential things left to be done in his life. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead is a masterpiece about drugs, family and crime that sadly parallels some of the events of his passing. It shattered me when I first saw it and has stayed with me ever since. Happiness, Capote, The Master…movies that will live on when we are all dust.

  7. Keil Shults says:

    Reproduced from my post on Facebook earlier today:

    The loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman is an immeasurable one for fans of his amazing gifts for both acting and choosing great films and roles. As one of the central muses for my favorite modern filmmaker, Paul Thomas Anderson (he appeared in 5 of his last 6 films), Hoffman always brought something new, exciting, and heartfelt to the table. His early career was spent playing supporting roles in wonderful movies made even better by his unforgettable presence: Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Happiness, The Big Lebowski, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Magnolia, Almost Famous, Punch-Drunk Love, 25th Hour, etc.

    His starring role in Capote helped earn him that inevitable Best Actor Oscar, and in no time he was playing larger and meatier roles in films like Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Savages, Synechdoche, New York,and finally The Master — one of his greatest achievements. And that’s not even counting the other hidden gems sprinkled throughout his filmography: as a baseball coach in Moneyball or as the voice of one of the title characters in the lovely animated film, Mary and Max. And if you think you can handle it in the wake of his overdose, you may want to seek out his starring turn in the indie addiction drama, Love Liza. I’m sure he was equally good in the many other roles and films I still haven’t seen.

    It’s sad that after 20 plus years of sobriety, something in his life allowed him to slip back into old, dangerous habits. Many will argue he was thoughtless and careless, though most such people have likely never known the full-scale horrors that addiction can wage against a person. In short, it’s a damn shame. He will certainly be missed. When you see him later this year in ‘A Most Wanted Man’, you will surely miss him. And every time you sit through another actor’s attempt to give a performance that would have been better delivered by him, you’ll shake your head in disappointment. In the meantime, take whatever solace you can in the many delightful gifts he bestowed upon us lucky moviegoers during his painfully brief career.

  8. leahnz says:

    oh no, how awful, just seeing this now — PSH was the real deal, so many great films and one of the great character actors of our time (in a strange coincidence my boy and i just happened to watch ‘the big L’, ‘twister’ and ‘ides of March’ on cable while lazing around over the weekend). wow what a shock, and unimaginable loss for his family and the world of movies – gone way too soon, rest in peace Philip SH, it won’t be as good without you

  9. Breedlove says:

    Fuck. Legend.

  10. MarkVH says:

    Y’know, I was watching Moneyball again recently – second time all the way through – and I was really struck by how perfect Hoffman’s performance is in it. There’s Pitt giving this great, showy movie star performance, and he’s wonderful, and then there’s Hoffman just sort of quietly, unassumingly acting him off the screen.

    What an amazing talent. He will be so dearly, incredibly missed.

  11. Bulldog68 says:

    Loved him in The Ides of March. And his scenes with Paul Giamatti were the highlight of the movie.

    Do you have to have these demons to be this good?

  12. Larry Gross says:

    Thanks for posting the academy award acceptance moment.
    So sad but so beautiful. Also of course, Heath Ledger in the audience! Just showing the work so goes beyond words.

  13. cadavra says:

    A swell performance that nobody’s mentioned is in the little-seen Richard Curtis comedy PIRATE RADIO (aka THE BOAT THAT ROCKED). Hoffman at his warmest and most engaging.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Two weeks ago I was flipping channels and Owning Mahowny was about to start on (I think) one of the Encore channels. My wife had never seen it and I told her that it’s a must-see for any Philip Seymour Hoffman fan. She loved it and we marveled at his performance and his amazing acting abilities. He becomes that guy, and you really forget you’re watching PSH play Dan Mahowny. Great movie with a truly incredible lead performance. Man he was good. So, so good.

  15. Greg says:

    Really? Doesn’t have like 50 friends, staff, management team.. hell, ANYONE who can help him out with this fucking shit?

    The lesson, as always, drugs suck.

  16. berg says:

    I’m a Yankee and I don’t give a hootenanny goddam about your silly limey laws … I intend to broadcast 24 hours a day until I die … and then a few days after that

  17. leahnz says:

    having my own little seymour hoffman retrospective after his passing i was watching ‘Capote’ last night (i don’t know if i could pick just one ‘fave hoffman’ but it’s up there for sure, a sublime, remarkable perf) and it kind of dawned on me that i can’t ever remember seeing just a ‘good’ PSH role – just, you know, perfectly fine; every single role he’s done he just nails it one way or another, even in super dorky cheese like ‘twister’ he is the SUPER DORKIEST, just unabashed into it-ness and focused nerd enthusiasm, every scene he’s in i just want to hang out with dustin, screw the rest of them – or in conventional action fare like ‘MI:III’ he finds a way to take a paint-by-number role and infuse it with such smarm and distaste, he’s the only thing i can really remember about that movie…i’m just so glad i was around to witness first-hand what will no doubt come to be known as the PSH era, first class all the way.

  18. Bulldog68 says:

    Didn’t you wish there was just more of him in Scent of a Woman?

  19. leahnz says:

    Bulldog, i know this is weird but i’ve never seen ‘scent of a woman’! i’ve never even stumbled across it on cable/tv to watch late one night (and i’m sure it must have been aired on cable/tv plenty so again, it’s just me and some weird koinnkidink). i’ve been meaning to rectify this bizarre anomaly on my movie-viewing radar for decades now so perhaps now is the time, be a PSH completest. (i think it’s his only movie i’ve never seen but i’d have to double-check; ‘fight club’ is the only movie i’ve never seen that i never intend to, just so i have that one lauded flick i go to my grave not having seen, just for the hell of it — so when people discuss ‘fight club’ it will always be that mysterious entity to me that goes right over my head. i hope eric is still out there somewhere in solidarity with me, never having seen nor ever will ever see Caddyshack [is that right, was it caddyshack?] haha)

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    “Scent of a Woman” is a tough watch for me, because it’s gotten the reputation as a “Enough Already! Give him a damn Oscar!” film for Pacino, and rightfully so. But Hoffman is still great.

    I came across PSH in “When a Man Likes a Woman” on cable the other day, the movie where Meg Ryan goes Leaving Las Vegas Nic Cage on Andy Garcia, and my god…he was charismatic AND good looking back in the day.

  21. Bulldog68 says:

    “Didn’t you wish there was just more of him in Scent of a Woman?”

    I guess I made myself laugh. You did see “more” of him in Before the Devil, doing the doggy with Marisa Tomei.

  22. leahnz says:

    it’s always good to crack yourself up. ugh PSH is almost hard to write about in BtDKYD, his Andy is so brilliantly corrupt, arrogant, desperate (for $ but deep down mostly for love and approval), repugnant and in so much pain as he spirals into his own murphy’s-law self-created hell, right up there with his very best work in my book (when his dad uh, ————– SPOILERES ———– does to him what he does, it’s like putting a diseased dog out of its misery: you can’t help but feel sorry for the dog but it’s dangerous and gotta go).

  23. Breedlove says:

    I could be totally wrong, I completely pulled this out of my ass but I’ve always had this little theory that Heath Ledger would have starred in Inception if he had lived instead of DiCaprio. Just the way he was obviously taking that next step to A-list leading man, the way Nolan loves working with the same actors repeatedly, how perfect he would have been in the part. It will be weird to be watching say PTA movies as the years go by and wondering if PSH would have been in them or what parts he would have played. My feeling is that he was our finest American film actor.

  24. Bulldog68 says:

    So if there is a movie heaven, right now we are having a Tom Clancy directed dramatic thriller starring Hoffman, Gandolfini and Paul Walker. James Avery finally gets a major supporting role in a movie with that booming voice of his, along with Richard Griffiths for good measure. Don’t forget Peter O’Toole in a scene stealing large cameo. I’d definitely watch that.

    Stay tuned for the Roger Ebert review.

  25. Ray Pride says:

    Surprise cameo flipping the script, if no one reveals it, by the great J. T. Walsh.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    Michael Gough plays a key supporting role with his usual self-effacing skill.

  27. YancySkancy says:

    All of heaven to work with, and they get a novelist to direct? 🙂

  28. Bulldog68 says:

    It is heaven…go with it. 🙂

  29. PcChongor says:

    And all the while, Kubrick’s STILL trying to get “Napoleon” made.

  30. YancySkancy says:

    Kubrick’s just waiting for the right actor to die.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon