“I can’t control anything: working, smoking, eating, it’s all the same. Let’s just say I have a tendency to replace one addiction with another” – Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman died on February 2nd, 2014. He was only 46 years old. It was a tragic occurrence and it rattled the film world. Each performance of his now seems so much more important, as his body of work is now finite. Over a year on, we are celebrating his birthday with a blogathon dedicated to the great man, and I’d like to thank everyone who took part. Thank you!!!
You may not know it, but as a youngster Hoffman was obsessed with sport. It didn’t matter what sport, he would throw all his energy into it. The sport that he focused the most on though was wrestling, which surely played a part in developing Hoffman’s personality. Wrestling is about mental toughness just as much as physical toughness. When he sustained an injury that meant no more sports, his mother guided him towards acting, where he applied the same mentality. He didn’t phone in performances. Not once that I can recall. He again threw his all into every role, truly becoming the character, no matter how small the role may have been.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was a perfectionist, for better or worse. He could play any character. As the list of posts below show, he was truly a force when in front of a camera. And the best thing about Hoffman? He didn’t need dashing good looks or a six pack and muscles to play the parts he did. He was that damned good that people were forced to pay attention. About who else could you say that, in supporting roles, he stole the show? I can’t think of anyone like him, who whether leading or whether his part was only a few scenes; he was always memorable, always dedicated.
Perhaps this quite from Ethan Hawke sums it all up the best:
“Whenever he appeared on screen, you thought, ‘Hey! This guy may not be particularly good looking, the characters he plays may not be particularly good people, but at least its the truth.’ Phil was the only actor in the world who embodied the truth. The guy had to battle against so many things buried inside him every time he got ready for a new role.”
Now, let’s have a look at the posts that kind folk around the blogosphere have contributed: To all of you I must again extend a massive THANK YOU!!! If I have missed anyone who participated, please resend me your link!!
Stu over at Popcorn Nights has written a piece typical of his other posts: very thorough and filled with interesting observations. Here he writes about Almost Famous, focusing on Hoffman’s performance and also the rest of the fantastic movie. Go check it out, it is a fantastic analysis of Hoffman’s ability to be the star in a supporting role, regardless of the situation or genre of movie.
My man Vinnie wrote about a role he played in Along Came Polly, commenting on his chameleon-like ability to inhabit any character he was given. Despite the movie being weak, Hoffman’s performance obviously stands out.
That Other Critic has pointed out a role that I have not seen myself, but the youtube clip in his post certainly gives us an idea of how PSH really could do it all, and made for a fantastic, demonic villain. I really want to see this film now just for his performance!!
Khalid over at The Blazing Reel has written a piece about the magnificent Magnolia, and how despite the packed cast, Hoffman’s character is one of the most memorable, not to mention extremely heartfelt and emotionally heavy. Another example of his ability to shine brightly in a supporting role.
Cindy has written a post containing a fitting tribute, as well as a fantastic review of the film Before The Devil Knows Your Dead, directed by the late Sidney Lumet. This is one I haven’t seen but am now very keen to after reading Cindy’s review.
Mel from The Creative Foxden has also written about a movie that I haven’t seen, and even worse for me, it is Australian! It is called Mary and Max, and I had never heard of it before, shame on me, but after reading her post, it would seem that the late great man was as good a voice actor as he was at every other role he took on.
Ruth from the great flixchatter wrote a fantastic, in depth piece about one of Hoffman’s last appearances on-screen in A Most Wanted Man. Another thorough post typical of her great site. This is what I thought of the slow-burn, satisfying film.
Rest In Peace.
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