When I first saw this news, it took me a while to believe it wasn’t a hoax. It took a while for the cold, hard truth to set in; yet, it was confirmed that he was found dead in his apartment from an apparent drug overdose. I am at a loss right now, and this has cast a shadow over the rest of the day, if not the rest of my journey through film.
The first movie I watched of his was Twister, actually. The film itself was mediocre, but Hoffman was incredibly entertaining. That’s him in a nutshell, frankly; no matter how bad the movie was, he always threw himself into the role and acted his heart out. For example, take Mission Impossible III; anyone could’ve phoned in that role and played a generic villain, but Hoffman elevated the character to someone beyond worthy of that film.
Whether it was his small role in movies like Almost Famous, his Oscar-winning performance in Capote, or his turn last year in The Master, he was always extremely adept at creating unique characters that lit up the screen every single time. From Boogie Nights to Charlie Wilson’s War to Punch Drunk Love to The Big Lebowski to Synecdoche, New York to The Savages to Doubt, his career was a masterpiece of cultural cornerstones; he was a versatile actor with a knack for both comedy and drama–he even made “Along Came Polly” mildly entertaining–and he will be missed. I was looking forward to seeing him in Plutarch Heavensbee’s expanded role in Mockingjay.
I implore all of you: watch the characters he’s created, if you haven’t already. If you have, marvel at them another time. He won’t be able to create countless other characters, but we’ll always have the ones he took on, the ones he lived. That’s a goddamn actor right there.
RIP. It’s truly a shame that drugs have taken so many from us, and 46 is certainly too young of an age to die. My condolences go out to his three children and his wife.
What are some of your favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman roles? Have you seen him on stage? Feel free to share in the comments.
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