Sunday, February 2, 2014


To say that Philip Seymour Hoffman was a major talent would be an understatement.  I suppose we'll learn more about his death in the coming week, especially about what appears to be as a result of drug overdose.

To remember him is to remember his incredible work in his win for Best Actor, where he transformed himself and became the living embodiment of Truman Capote, in the film Capote.  He was nominated three times subsequent to his one win, for The Master, The Ides of March, and for Doubt.  He had numerous nominations for Golden Globes, SAG awards, and BAFTA awards (the British Oscar), among others.

His extraordinary talent was infused in every role he took on, and I will particularly never forget the movie Flawless which he starred in with Robert De Niro.  He played a drag queen who gave singing lessons to the injured ex-cop who was stereotypically short on kindness and long on homophobia until their unlikely friendship changed him.  Also, who could forget the vulnerability he demonstrated in Boogie Nights, as the sycophantic production crew member who had a crush on Dirk Diggler?

Philip talked so eloquently about the craft and art of acting when he was being interviewed for the awards tours, that even those who don't share the profession understood what it meant to be in his shoes.  He never took easy roles and always gave all of himself.  He was never satisfied with his performance choices, and I imagine how torturing it must feel to never be good enough in your own eyes.

He will be missed.  We can all expect his face to appear, sadly, during the In Memoriam section of the Oscars on March 2nd.  May he rest in peace.

My favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman scene in The Big Lebowski (he played Brandt)
Brandt: Mr. Lebowski is prepared to make a generous offer to you to act as courier, once we get instructions for the money.
The Dude: Why me, man?
Brandt: He believes the culprits might be the very people who, uh, soiled your rug, and you are in a unique position to confirm or disconfirm that suspicion.
The Dude: He thinks the carpet pissers did this?
Brandt: Well Dude, we just don't know.

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