Unfortunately, yesterday was scarred by the loss of a great actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman. The cause of his death, though speculated on, has yet to be revealed. So I will be focusing on his fantastic body of work rather than his supposed demons.
An actor of both stage and screen, he graced us with brilliant and quirky characters. He lived only to the young age of 46, but was able to give the viewers so many memorable characters. From when I first saw him in Boogie Nights to his Oscar winning performance in Capote, he filled the screen with unusual, yet deep performances.
At the beginning of his career he was more known as a character actor. Yes, he had smaller roles, but the viewer always remembered him. The ‘totally uncool’ Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, the curse wielding rage-filled Dean Trumbell in Punch Drunk Love, the wonderfully emotional Phil Parma in Magnolia were just a few roles where he had limited screen time but the audience always left the theater remembering him.
In the back end of his career, he started to get more high profiled roles; but he always remained in the background both personally and professionally. He opted out of the bigger lead roles for smaller ‘indie’ films, so he could flex his proverbial acting muscles.
Yes, the general public always knew Mr. Hoffman, but they did not always get to witness how great he was. With a role in the very popular Hunger Games series, Hoffman was exploding into the mainstream. Who knows what would have come with this newfound fame: bigger roles or perhaps a chance to direct a bigger feature. It is a shame that we will never get to see this.
He left behind a girlfriend and three very young kids. As much as the movie community feels this loss, she and his kids must feel it a million times worse.
In remembrance of this great actor I am going to watch The Master.