Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014)


‘My passion to develop as an actor didn’t have anything to do with people knowing me. I had no idea that would happen. To become famous, to become a celebrity is something that I thought happened to other people’. (Philip Seymour Hoffman)

The sad death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the US’s finest supporting actors, shook the world in the afternoon of Sunday, 2th February 2014, and no wonder. Philip was an immensely talented actor who was fiercely devoted to his profession. At 17 Philip was selected for NY State Summer School of Arts in Saratoga Springs, and he eventually received a bachelor’s degree in drama from NY University.  It is possible that I first saw Philip in ‘The Getaway’ (1994) alongside Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger and, even then, he made a very good impression on me. We probably can all recall him in somewhat uncomplimentary supporting roles in such films as Scent of a Woman’ (1992), ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ (1994) and ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ (1999). But it was in ‘Capote’ (2005) in which he really shined as a leading actor, the role which subsequently earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor. Incidentally, the actor was awarded the overall 23 awards for his performance in ‘Capote’. Apart from film acting, few people also seem to know that he was passionately involved in theatre work and even directed his own film ‘Jack Goes Boating’ (2010). However, it was Philip’s later films which really made me focus on him as a true talent. His performances in Wilson’s War’ (2007), ‘Doubt’ (2008) and in ‘The Master’ (2012) were nothing short of brilliant, and I also thought that his work in ‘A Late Quartet’ (2012) was just too believable. It seems that Philip never stopped to encourage young people to get involved in acting, stressing such things as the art of fine acting, rather than money or fame as driving factors. My point is that maybe we should stop for a minute to be so wrapped up in the circumstances of Philip’s death and how they can be compared with Heath Ledger’s, and start to think more of Philip as a dedicated actor who made a great contribution to the cinematic world? – After all, where will the leading men be without their supporting cast? 


6 Responses to Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014)

  1. Mark Walker says:

    Lovely piece. I’m still trying to process this as if I’ve lost a close friend. Hoffman was the real deal and an exceptional talent that will be greatly missed. He’s been one of my top actors for years.

    • dbmoviesblog says:

      Thanks, Mark. I do understand and share your sadness. He has been blowing me away with his performances in recent years, and it was not altogether what I’ve been expecting, to be honest. Even when Hoffman’s roles were small, they were always memorable, and I think people seem to take this real quality supporting work for granted, something which I think should not be happening. Kinder “you only miss it when it is gone”. Sad.

  2. rgagne says:

    I always respected him as an actor because of great he was, even though I didn’t like all of his movies. Very well written piece.

  3. Nick Powell says:

    Great write up. Hate being reminded everywhere I look that we lost this legend…

  4. Nicely done my friend. What a loss.

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