02 Feb 2014
Philip Seymour Hoffman roles demanded introspection and thoughtfulness. This, of course, is not solely upon him, but also on those that helped build his characters and he recognized the importance of directors and writers in his own craft. Yet excellent writing and careful direction can all be for naught if the actor is unfit for the role – and talented actors can offer some redemption to a poor script or a sloppy vision. It is to Hoffman’s credit that he rarely fell into such films.
He was an actor that took great care with his fictions, because he knew that stories were powerful and neither the audience nor the teller can ever wholly escape. Capote has stuck with me for years and I cannot help but hear Hoffman’s voice when I read In Cold Blood.1 He embraced his weirdness, his strangeness – and then displayed it on the screen for all to see. That particular brand of force and presence that he brought to his work will be missed.
“It’s as if Perry and I grew up in the same house. And one day, he stood up and went out the back door, while I went out the front.” ↩