Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

I am very sad to hear of the passing of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He was my absolute favorite actor and I’m really going to miss him. While I usually devote this blog to music, I think Phillip’s portrayal of some pretty significant music related roles sure grants him an exception.
His most memorable music role would have to be his portrayal of Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. He plays the crazy journalist damn near exactly as I would imagine after seeing Lester’s interview footage. Previously, I had only seen Hoffman in somewhat serious roles (like the medical student in Patch Adams), but he played a middle-aged nerdy rock journalist with ease.  
Phillip was a rare breed who could crack me up laughing and make tears come to my eyes, all in the same scene. He could make a shitty movie memorable. I was just reading on people.com today an article showcasing some movie roles where his acting stood the test of time more than some of the movies he acted in. A great example of this is Twister: sure today’s special effects can put Twister to shame now, but Hoffman’s character could never be outdone.  
Another memorable music role was his role as passionate rock DJ, The Count in Pirate Radio. This is a good example of Phillip saving a mediocre film with his stellar acting. Ok, maybe he didn’t save this film as the ratings were horrible… but I loved it!  
Phillip was somebody that seemed like an ideal role model. He was proof that you didn’t need to have Brad Pitt’s looks, or be given the best roles to make it as a respected actor. He rarely landed credits large enough to put his name on the poster, yet he would completely steal the show with his realistic, passionate acting. And he managed to get all of this done with his physique looking like he just rolled out of bed. I still think he makes a great role model, regardless of his young death due to drug overdose. He was successfully sober for 23 years prior to this setback which anybody who battled addiction knows is huge. Unfortunately, it just took one step back to ruin everything.
It has been a shitty winter for losing young talent, but while all the others are shocking and sad, Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s is the first one that really hurt for me. It’s like I just lost a good friend that I never got to meet.

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