On February 2, 2014, Hollywood became a little less colorful. We lost a man who for years had stood as a beacon to those suffering from alcohol and substance abuse. A man who struggled all his life and has relapsed at various points finally succumbed to the dangers of heroine. I don't even know what to say about this. I have always respected him for being extremely open about his drug issues: a very telling story on 60 Minutes in 2006 was the perfect example of how open he really was. From his openness on his life to his incredibly positive reputation in Hollywood, everyone loved Mr. Hoffman. The amount of celebrity outpouring and support over this sudden departure just shows how loved this man was in the business. Now obviously I have never had the privilege of meeting this great actor. However, I have watched several of his movies. Let's go back to the beginning there, yes?
The first movie I ever saw with Mr. Hoffman was none other than Twister. Remember that movie? One of my favorites from my childhood, I look back and I simply cannot believe that he was in that movie! I actually forgot about it for several years. He played Dustin, one of the members (probably the head) of Bill Paxton's storm chasing brigade. While the movie is certainly not the best, his role is quite good, despite the fact that he has very little material to show off his considerable acting chops. He continued building his repertoire and then appeared in The Talented Mr. Ripley. I reviewed this movie a few months back, as it is without a doubt my favorite performance from Matt Damon ever. However, the movie also has an incredibly strong supporting cast, led by none other than Mr. Hoffman. I think he got the short end of the stick here because this is Matt Damon's movie, but his character did wreck havoc on the talented Mr. Ripley. The role that took Hoffman out of the indie world and right into the limelight of Hollywood, however, was his unforgettable performance in Capote back in 2005. This role, earning him his single Oscar win for Best Actor, was an indescribably tough one to pull off, and he did it masterfully. Now squarely in the mainstream, Mr. Hoffman continued to strengthen his incredible resume, putting in truly remarkable performances in Mission Impossible III, (he was far and away the best part of the movie) The Savages, Moneyball, Pirate Radio, The Invention of Lying, The Master, and even The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It took me about 3 minutes for his character to immediately become my favorite part of that series. No kidding. However the role that I personally will never forget with him is Charlie Wilson's War. He took Aaron Sorkin's fantastic dialogue and delivered a performance that to this day is easily in my top 10 all-time best acting performances. I was saying that long before he died. Additionally, his character's introduction in that movie is my favorite character introduction ever. Don't know what I'm talking about? Watch this. (Warning: expletives) It's all about Mr. Hoffman, guys. Even in a movie with actors like Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, it's all about Philip Seymour Hoffman.
I could go on and on about his movies. Along Came Polly. The Big Lebowski. Almost Famous. Magnolia. Flawless. All movies that are made infinitely better by Mr. Hoffman's presence. However I need to take a moment to mention the incredibly successful career Mr. Hoffman had in the New York Theater scene. Unlike many A-list actors, Mr. Hoffman continued to work on the stage all the way up to 2012, when he starred in a revival of "Death of a Salesman" along with up-and-coming actor Andrew Garfield, who could not stop talking about how much of an honor it was to work along side him. Mr. Hoffman was greatly respected by those he worked with and was described, according to an article from the LA Times, as a man who sometimes inhabited the roles he played [in the theater] to an extreme and troubling degree. Never afraid to take risks, Mr. Hoffman played these roles to the best of his considerable talent, despite occasionally being simultaneously involved in various movie projects.The man could do anything.
Truly one of the great actors of the last twenty years, the loss of Mr. Hoffman leaves a huge hole in the world of Hollywood. No one can perform some of the roles he has performed. Capote fails if anyone other than him leads it. Charlie Wilson's War would not have been one of Sorkin's best movies were it not for him. Moneyball would've been missing a lot of color and flair were it not for him. But you are never out of rehab when you have a history of drug abuse. I hope his tragedy serves as a deterrent to those that consider picking up a needle. One thing's for sure: Mockingjay Part 2 will almost certainly leave me in tears after his final scene. Farewell, Mr. Hoffman. You will be forever missed. And hey! Maybe now Truman Capote can give him a critique of how you did playing him. I have a feeling a lot of positive words will be thrown around in that conversation. Rest in piece, Mr. Hoffman. Rest in peace.
Quick Note on The Hunger Games:
The crew over at The Hunger Games have vowed that they will honor his legacy and not remove him from the final two films. He had 7 days left of shooting for Mockingjay Part 2 when he passed.
Character Shot: http://www.redcarpetcrash.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Philip.jpg
The Talented Mr. Ripley: http://www2.shrani.si/files/clipboar567145.png
Catching Fire: http://turntherightcorner.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/the-hunger-games-catching-fire-teaser-trailer-philip-seymour-hoffman.jpg%3Fw%3D1024
Charlie Wilson's War: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aReCNtF2yuw/TyUyGqgsVJI/AAAAAAAAGiw/a5qLvV64qHw/s1600/CWW%2BPSH.bmp
Along Came Polly:http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTU0NDU3NDI2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMTI4NTY3._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg
The Big Lebowski: http://www.julienslive.com/images/lot/6284/62849_0.jpg
Funny Pic: http://www.wallpapersfunny.com/wallpapers/philip-seymour-hoffman-6-funny-wallpaper-1600x1200.jpg
LA Times Article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-philip-seymour-hoffman-dead-theater-reaction-20140202,0,6128034.story#axzz2sEewNB5q
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