Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the most critically acclaimed actors of his generation, was found dead in New York on Sunday morning of an apparent drug overdose.
Mr. Hoffman, 46, was found in an apartment in the West Village around 11:30 a.m. by a friend who had become concerned at not being able to reach Mr. Hoffman, a law enforcement official said.
Investigators found a syringe in his left forearm, at least two plastic envelopes with what appeared to be heroin nearby, and five empty plastic envelopes in a trash bin, the official said.
"Acting is just hard for me," he said. "As I've gotten older I've gained a certain facility, but ultimately I know that if I don't feel for the material in a way that keeps me up at night, it's gonna be harder for me to act well. It might not ultimately be a great movie but hopefully, it will be a movie that somebody is gonna find interesting. It's not that I haven't made decisions based on money in my life. I definitely have and will again, but I try to keep those as far apart as possible. And even when I make those decisions, I still want to find something in the material that will get me active in finding out how I can act this thing well. Because if I'm left to my own devices, it's real empty in here." [Ebert interview]
Hoffman knew that whatever part he played, it was important. And he played it as such. It was about the greater good, the common cause. Sure, there had to be ego there, but it was ego coupled with acceptance of his place, and unwavering confidence, even when being completely self-deprecating. So much confidence that it imprinted upon us, the movie-going public, without us even knowing. We subconsciously just knew that he was one of the fking great ones. Before we even knew his name.
And there is no finer mark of excellence.
If Wikipedia now considers itself a venue for breaking news, yes, I am here to bash. I am here to rip into you. I am here to remind that you describe yourselves as an encyclopedia. That means posting absolute, undeniable facts. That means providing well rounded, thorough information on any particular topic. That means you WAIT TO KNOW THE TRUTH. You can't cite news agencies. You just can't. There are numerous, well documented instances where they are incorrect, or flat out lie.
He was not un-photographable; quite the contrary, he was magnetic, even in roles that gave him a handful of lines. But he was not a matinee idol and never pretended to be. In most of his roles he was heavy, round. His early parts often cast him as a big, soft man poured into clothes that didn't fit. He looked like an utterly ordinary fellow you might see in daily life, at a bus stop or in an electronics store or in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and not think twice about—unless, perhaps, you got a close look at his face, and sensed the lacerating and self-lacerating intelligence in his eyes and smile; or if you heard his rumbling voice. When Hoffman opened his mouth to speak, he sounded smart, but often not as as smart as his characters imagined or wished themselves to be. That sense of mis-estimation always added to the performance by connecting it to reality. We're never what we imagine ourselves to be. We're always a bit less—or a bit off.
"It is not my job to correct the whole Internet on drug addiction and relapse" - probably my mantra for the next week or so.
I'd been a fan of his quite a while before MI3, but it is still my go-to reference when I want someone to see him working at his best, he was absolutely fucking terrifying in that.
The rise of fatal overdoses over the last 15 years is startling. In 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 38,329 fatal drug overdoses in the United States, more than double the 16,849 fatal overdoses observed in 1999.
Philip Seymour Hoffman: not waving but drowning
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