Award-winning Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan
February 2, 2014 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Police say Hoffman, 46, was found dead with a needle in his arm. Hoffman's struggles with substance abuse have been well documented, and he had told 60 Minutes in 2006 that he was grateful to have gotten sober before getting famous.
posted by MissySedai (468 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
A great actor and a great loss.

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posted by pashdown at 11:15 AM on February 2


Way too young. Fuck.

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posted by jontyjago at 11:15 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I am heartbroken. Really loved his recent turn as Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire, and I re-watch Capote often. It always struck me as hilarious that the wildly excitable fella from Twister was so versatile in his talents. Such a loss.

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posted by MissySedai at 11:15 AM on February 2 [6 favorites]


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posted by slmorri at 11:15 AM on February 2


Goddammit.

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posted by Etrigan at 11:15 AM on February 2


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posted by tonycpsu at 11:16 AM on February 2


Aww, no. Come on.

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posted by a halcyon day at 11:16 AM on February 2


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posted by Thorzdad at 11:16 AM on February 2


come ON. i'm not even over Paul Walker yet.

Hoffman's screen presence in almost everything he's done, especially his (now) late period is astounding.

seriously, The Master is intense.
posted by ninjew at 11:16 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


Ah fuck.

I was really hoping that rumor of him replasping during the filming of Catching Fire was just that, a rumor.
posted by The Whelk at 11:16 AM on February 2


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posted by wabbittwax at 11:16 AM on February 2


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posted by neuromodulator at 11:16 AM on February 2


I find this terribly sad. I can't think of a better actor, really.
posted by Red Loop at 11:16 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Fuck. PSH pinged my radar on an episode of Law and Order in the early 1990s. He played a particularly smug and entitled rapist. I thought to myself, "Fuck, I really hate this guy--that actor is pretty good." And I've followed his career since then.

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posted by sockpup at 11:16 AM on February 2 [18 favorites]


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posted by alby at 11:16 AM on February 2


I first saw him in Hard Eight, years ago. It was a revelation. Incredible talent. I followed him faithfully since then.

Godspeed.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:16 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


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posted by jessian at 11:17 AM on February 2


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posted by /\/\/\/ at 11:17 AM on February 2


Wow.



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posted by mazola at 11:17 AM on February 2


I knew before clicking what site that needle link would lead to. Stay classy, New York Post.

Otherwise, fuuuuck. So sad. He was one of the best, possibly the best.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:17 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


Just yesterday my 12yo daughter was talking about how she loved him in Catching Fire, because he was such a scary villain, as opposed to Donald Sutherland, which didn't really do anything for her. He was way, way too good to go so soon. I'm very sad, for his family, and for all of the good work he could have done.

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posted by nushustu at 11:17 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA_ubhYgjAc
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 11:17 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by Caskeum at 11:17 AM on February 2


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posted by KingEdRa at 11:17 AM on February 2


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posted by daninnj at 11:17 AM on February 2


Heartbreaking, an enormous loss - such talent, gone so young. Just terrible news. Fuck heroin.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:18 AM on February 2 [8 favorites]


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posted by hal9k at 11:18 AM on February 2


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posted by cashman at 11:18 AM on February 2


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posted by ipe at 11:18 AM on February 2


An amazing artist, cut down at midpoint. So sad for everyone. My heart goes out to his family.

Can't type the period yet.
posted by BibiRose at 11:18 AM on February 2


Outside of really enjoying his acting, I knew absolutely nothing about Philip Seymour Hoffman the person, so this was a huge shock, not realizing that he had this struggle in his life.

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posted by jason_steakums at 11:18 AM on February 2 [29 favorites]


Ugh. Stay classy, NY Post.

Not a . big enough, for me. I was just telling someone the other day that they really need to get over their dislike of David Mamet's movies, because they're missing out on seeing Phil Seymour Hoffman in State and Main. If you haven't seen it, do yourself the favor of fixing your situation.
posted by palomar at 11:19 AM on February 2 [5 favorites]


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That said, could we maybe get a post about this that celebrates his life a bit, as something more than just some actor who died of an OD? (I mean, it's better than memorializing lesser-known actor Philip Seymour Huffman, but still...
posted by Going To Maine at 11:19 AM on February 2 [11 favorites]


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posted by pinacotheca at 11:19 AM on February 2


I discovered him in Solondz' Happiness, which was also a thoroughly unpleasant character, one that he made quite relatable and sympathetic. It was immediately obvious that this was someone to keep an eye on. I saw Boogie Nights a little later (although it's an earlier film), and that just cemented it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:19 AM on February 2 [13 favorites]


He was SO MANY great, great roles.

Was, not had.

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posted by gauche at 11:19 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


I have had it with 2014 and it's only February.
posted by tzikeh at 11:19 AM on February 2 [18 favorites]


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Can't we do better than to lead off with the "needle in his arm" quote? Stay classy, Metafilter.
posted by donajo at 11:19 AM on February 2 [25 favorites]


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posted by oceanjesse at 11:20 AM on February 2


This one hit me much harder than I thought it would. He was just so young. But even in that short time he's played some of my favorite characters in recent memory. The Master. Doubt. Synecdoche, New York. There are very few actors where it doesn't matter what the movie is, you'll see it because they're in it. He was one of those.
posted by fishmasta at 11:20 AM on February 2 [12 favorites]


This broke my heart.

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posted by triggerfinger at 11:20 AM on February 2


Dammit, heroin.

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posted by Strange Interlude at 11:20 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Oh shit, this is just tragic. Such an extraordinary talent -- easily one of the finest actors of his generation. There always seemed to be such a sorrow at the core of most (if not all) of his performances. I always hoped he had found happiness in his personal life.

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posted by scody at 11:20 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


Life is hard.

I'm sorry.
posted by simulacra at 11:21 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


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posted by wallabear at 11:21 AM on February 2


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posted by Lynsey at 11:21 AM on February 2


RIP to a brilliant artist.
The titillating needle detail is so fucking unnecessary.
posted by chococat at 11:21 AM on February 2 [5 favorites]


This is horrible. PSH was one of the greatest actors ever, someone who could manhandle any role in any style and now he's gone.

46 fucking years old.

Just a staggering loss - someone with that kind of talent only comes around once in a generation.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 11:21 AM on February 2 [13 favorites]


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posted by jim in austin at 11:21 AM on February 2


God damn it.
That was a shock.
He was such a great, great actor who completely inhabited every role he played.
This really is a terrible loss.
Damn, damn, damn.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 11:22 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by banterboy at 11:22 AM on February 2


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posted by Pendragon at 11:22 AM on February 2


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posted by lord_wolf at 11:22 AM on February 2


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posted by RokkitNite at 11:22 AM on February 2


Holy shit, this (to me) was unexpected. What a huge huge loss.

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posted by Fig at 11:22 AM on February 2


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posted by SarahElizaP at 11:23 AM on February 2


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posted by suprenant at 11:23 AM on February 2


I thought to myself, "Fuck, I really hate this guy--that actor is pretty good."

No one was better at that sort of role. Twelve hours ago I was watching this scene and loving how much I hated him.

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posted by Knappster at 11:23 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


When Hoffman went to his 20-year high school reunion, one of his former classmates asked him what he did for a living. When Hoffman said he was an actor, the other guy said, "So how's that working out for you?" Hoffman meekly said, "Pretty well, actually. I'm in a film that just came out that you may have heard of. It's called Cold Mountain."

Acting did work out well for Hoffman. I wish he had been able to stay away from the drugs so that he could have had a long full life and so that we could have had continued to have him with us and enjoy his acting for another 30 years or so. This is just tragic.
posted by orange swan at 11:23 AM on February 2 [20 favorites]


Damn, wow. I can't even narrow down what performance I liked the most: The Master, Synecdoche, New York, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, Magnolia, Almost Famous, etc.

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posted by octothorpe at 11:24 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Dammit, heroin.

Seriously. As I said elsewhere, heroin is a fucking asshole.
posted by MissySedai at 11:24 AM on February 2 [11 favorites]


That’s that. :(
posted by Doug Stewart at 11:24 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


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posted by prolific at 11:25 AM on February 2


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posted by tommasz at 11:25 AM on February 2


Heartbreaking.

I found this comment inexplicable the other day, assuming it was a joke of some kind that I didn't understand. I wish it had been.
posted by dng at 11:25 AM on February 2 [28 favorites]


fuck.
posted by pwally at 11:26 AM on February 2


Oh my god.
posted by jokeefe at 11:26 AM on February 2


This actually made me shout when it popped up on my newsfeed. Best actor of my generation.

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posted by sfkiddo at 11:26 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


Fuck, he was amazing. God dammit, fucking heroin.
posted by Mizu at 11:27 AM on February 2


What the fuck!?!? Really?

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posted by Pudhoho at 11:27 AM on February 2


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It does seem like we're losing so many of the decent and/or entertaining ones while the truly horrible not only survive, but prosper.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:28 AM on February 2


Drugs are one hell of a mistress. What a sad, sad loss. One of the heavy-weights gone - and only at 46. My thoughts go out to his family.

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posted by kariebookish at 11:28 AM on February 2


In late May, Hoffman finished a 10-day stint in a rehab program for a drug problem that included snorting heroin.

The actor had struggled with substance abuse in the past, but had been clean for 23 years.

The actor has three children — Cooper, 10; Tallulah 7, and Willa, 5 — with costume designer Mimi O'Donnell.

Hoffman was nominated four times for an Oscar and won the best actor award for Capote in 2006. He most recently starred as Plutarch Heavensbee in the summer blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
USA Today

posted by madamjujujive at 11:29 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


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posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:29 AM on February 2


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I first became aware of him in The Talented Mr. Ripley. I could never get over how he created these compelling characters you absolutely hated but could not stop watching.
posted by cadge at 11:30 AM on February 2 [11 favorites]


Not a talent who can be easily replaced, and that is an understatement. I had always thought he and John Goodman could have a kicked all sorts of ass in a Southern Gothic, perhaps as brothers, rivals, or both. RIP.
posted by Beholder at 11:31 AM on February 2 [11 favorites]


In other news, Bieber is still alive. Truly, there is no god.

"Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all?"

I'm so saddened by this. Addiction is a cruel master.
posted by jokeefe at 11:31 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


God damnit
posted by hototogisu at 11:31 AM on February 2


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Such a great loss to culture. Hoffman was the rare actor who transformed everything he played. How many more great movies would he have created?
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:31 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


Ebert on Owning Mahowny. " Philip Seymour Hoffman, that fearless poet of implosion, plays the role with a fierce integrity, never sending out signals for our sympathy because he knows that Mahowny is oblivious to our presence."
posted by BibiRose at 11:32 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


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posted by Beardman at 11:33 AM on February 2


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posted by ogooglebar at 11:33 AM on February 2


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posted by waxpancake at 11:33 AM on February 2


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posted by Iridic at 11:33 AM on February 2


i still haven't gotten over river phoenix. fuck heroin indeed.
posted by echocollate at 11:34 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


Well, shit. He was one of the good ones.
posted by dazed_one at 11:34 AM on February 2


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posted by Wordwoman at 11:34 AM on February 2


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posted by secretdark at 11:34 AM on February 2


I've been at my boyfriend's for the weekend.

Got home half an hour ago.

Open www.metafilter.com and I see this. The high I've been on has evaporated.

This is just so tragic on so many levels. I realize how selfish it is to say, but by whatever you hold dear, the world has lost an immense treasure today. Easily the greatest (male) actor of my generation. I can't think of anyone else--except, tragically, perhaps Heath Ledger--who has the same depth and range as Hoffman did.

I wish I had the eloquence that his passing deserves.

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posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:35 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


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posted by 1UP at 11:35 AM on February 2


Holy crap, what a loss. I've followed his career since Hard Eight, but in every interview he did, he seemed like an actor's actor, where I had no idea what he really thought as a person, since he wrapped himself up in characters so much. I also had no idea he was addicted to heroin, jesus (guess I shouldn't ignore all celeb news).
posted by mathowie at 11:35 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by gnomeloaf at 11:36 AM on February 2


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posted by marimeko at 11:36 AM on February 2


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posted by condour75 at 11:36 AM on February 2


I wish life were easier to endure. I wish you didn't hurt and didn't poke yourself with little erasers and buffers that stop your heart.

Just goddamn gutting.
posted by black rainbows at 11:36 AM on February 2 [12 favorites]


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posted by ob at 11:36 AM on February 2


Ugh. No end is a good end, I guess, but this is bad way to end. Thoughts for the family he left behind.
posted by notyou at 11:36 AM on February 2


Oh no no no no this is terrible news. Hoffman could imbue seemingly the smallest role with presence, humor, and humanity, whether Brandt in The Big Lebowski or Scotty J. in Boogie Nights. I saw him in an otherwise undistinguished play, and his performance elevated the whole production into something enthralling. Theater and film have lost one of their finest. My sympathies go out to his partner and their children.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:37 AM on February 2 [9 favorites]


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posted by sporkwort at 11:37 AM on February 2


I always loved him. He was my weird crush.
posted by pineappleheart at 11:37 AM on February 2 [9 favorites]


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posted by fremen at 11:37 AM on February 2


What was once before you - an exciting, mysterious future - is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone's experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone's everyone. So you are Adele, Hazel, Claire, Olive. You are Ellen. All her meager sadnesses are yours; all her loneliness; the gray, straw-like hair; her red raw hands. It's yours. It is time for you to understand this.

Walk.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:38 AM on February 2 [17 favorites]


(stupidly I had been so worried that Donald Sutherland would die before he finished filming The Hunger Games movies.)

This is utterly heartbreaking. Utterly. Addiction is a terrible master indeed. And dealers have blood on their hands.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:38 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


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posted by wiskunde at 11:39 AM on February 2


That's not a moon, that's a space-station.
posted by w0mbat at 11:39 AM on February 2


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posted by zscore at 11:40 AM on February 2


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posted by neonrev at 11:40 AM on February 2


Aww, hell.

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posted by mstokes650 at 11:41 AM on February 2


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I loved his work.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:41 AM on February 2


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posted by Woodroar at 11:42 AM on February 2


No. Fuck.

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posted by Sys Rq at 11:43 AM on February 2


I'm not even ashamed to say the first movie I saw where I took notice of him was as the villain in Mission Impossible III. It was a silly, yet decent action movie, but even then he had this way of coming across as terrifyingly ruthless and brutal while it appeared like he was just sitting there not giving a fuck.

Such a tragic loss :(
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:43 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by nobody at 11:43 AM on February 2


A genuine tragedy.. I was just going to watch Synecdoche, New York again this morning.
posted by spiderskull at 11:44 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by Ber at 11:44 AM on February 2


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So I was right—it wasn't just us. For me and multiple friends, this past week felt like one of those times when everything hurt and nothing was possible: We would never leave the destructive cycles we were in, our hopes and dreams would never be realized, and externally imposed deadlines would continue to be impossible and endless.

I told multiple people this: "I think we're far from the only ones who are feeling that way this week." I'm aware of the notion of confirmation bias, but even given that, I think there are just certain friction points in the year where a lot of people get hit hard, where expectations are set up in a certain way and then let down (especially right after the new year), where suddenly the weight of work comes crashing down (especially after winter disasters and delays), where it's just been so dark and cold for so long that the winter seems like an endless tunnel that's inescapable.

And for too many, unfortunately, it is.
posted by limeonaire at 11:44 AM on February 2 [67 favorites]


So many great roles, so much talent, too soon departed.
RIP
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posted by OHenryPacey at 11:44 AM on February 2


One of the best actors I've ever seen, he could make you want to crawl out of your skin.

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posted by furtive at 11:45 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


A massive, massive loss – I can think of only a couple actors even in his league, and none who surpass him. Echoing the people who say they'd see any movie he was in just because he was in it.

Beyond his wonderful and rightly-celebrated roles in movies like The Big Lebowski, Synechdoche New York, and Capote, there's two performances of his that I hold especially close to my heart:
- In Mary and Max, Hoffman voices a complicated little character so exquisitely that he easily carries the movie on his voice alone.
- Love Liza is a sweet, slow-paced imperfect little movie, not for everyone, but as a confused, sorrowful little character study it's a personal touchstone.

Shit. He's just so fucking good.
Goddamnit.
posted by churl at 11:45 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


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posted by wotsac at 11:46 AM on February 2


He was only 46????

holy crap. He used his years well. He had a face that looked well lived in.

Great talent!
posted by Colonel Panic at 11:46 AM on February 2


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posted by redbeard at 11:48 AM on February 2


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posted by Saxon Kane at 11:49 AM on February 2


I shouted "Oh fuck!" when I saw a link about his death appear on my fb feed.

There were a lot of his films I haven't seen (because my god he was in a lot of movies!), but I loved him in everything I did see. What a loss. Goddamn it.

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posted by rtha at 11:49 AM on February 2 [5 favorites]


An unbelievable acting talent and an incredible waste. I will miss him sorely.

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posted by FiveNines at 11:49 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


He was the best.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:50 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


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There are no words.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:50 AM on February 2


Man, he could have been performing for the NEXT FORTY YEARS, GODDAMNIT!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 11:51 AM on February 2 [12 favorites]


A truly massive cultural loss... I just went through his roles on IMDB and he was good or great in absolutely every thing I've seen him in which was a lot. My heart goes out to his friends and family.

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posted by Green With You at 11:51 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


. Thoughts to his friends and family. Addiction is an awful way to try to live a life. I wish him and his family peace.

My son was the biggest PSH fan, and would delight in performing this bit from Charlie Wilson's War, including swears, and I never minded because it was just so fucking good.
posted by dorkydancer at 11:52 AM on February 2 [6 favorites]


I worked with Phil. He was solid. A friend.

He thought I was crazy. He encouraged people. "Keep doing what you're doing."

He was a teacher in everything he did. He made us all feel like family. My heart is with his loved ones, Mimi and the kids. What a good man he was, what an empty space he leaves.

When lesser lights clamored for the spotlight, Phil hunched into his coat and took the sidewalk home. I wish he wasn't gone.

We're all going to miss him.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 11:52 AM on February 2 [144 favorites]


Brilliant goddamn actor. Goddamn heroin. Goddamn possible mix of fentanyl and heroin that could have done this.

And triple goddamn it if this news leaked to the media before his family was informed.
posted by maudlin at 11:52 AM on February 2


Damn. I was so looking forward to seeing him star in a Roger Ebert biopic, too.

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posted by Faint of Butt at 11:53 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


What a tremendous talent, and a tremendous loss.

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posted by mixedmetaphors at 11:53 AM on February 2


There were a bunch of good actors in Magnolia and he was one full level above all the rest of them. Very sad.
posted by bukvich at 11:53 AM on February 2 [12 favorites]


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posted by Wordshore at 11:55 AM on February 2


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posted by mirthe at 11:55 AM on February 2


what an amazing amazing amazing actor.

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posted by cristinacristinacristina at 11:56 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


He was an amazing actor.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:56 AM on February 2


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posted by ryanfou at 11:56 AM on February 2


Damn, I forgot he played Brandt. One of the best little character sketches in the history of film. Fuck heroin indeed.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:57 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


This is so sad. He was brilliant in brilliant movies and enthralling in waste of time movies like Along Came Polly.
posted by classa at 11:57 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by little mouth at 11:59 AM on February 2


Addiction and substance abuse is about the worst way to hear about someone going. No matter what the reason, it ends up getting put just a little bit above everything else the person has that makes them be.

Sometimes they can escape it and take all the tattered remains of themselves back. Too often it only leaves a person when they leave everyone else. I'm glad he mastered it for as long as he did and brought an extra little bit of joy in my life.

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posted by ThrowbackDave at 11:59 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


"Excuse me, what the fuck?"
posted by eugenen at 12:00 PM on February 2 [21 favorites]


For me, the real revelation of just how talented he was came with his performance in Capote... the mind-boggling physical transformation that enabled the six-foot-something Hoffman to believably portray the five-foot-nothing Truman Capote. And he didn't do an impersonation, either; the whole movie, there is not one false note. He was completely, undeniably Capote. Astounding.

What a friggin' waste.

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posted by Jughead at 12:00 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I usually say "go in peace" when someone I don't know but whose accomplishments I admired dies. Not this time. Hoffman should not be gone and all I want is to be able to reach out and drag him forcibly back to the world of the living.

the six-foot-something Hoffman

His IMDB page gives his height as 5'9".
posted by orange swan at 12:00 PM on February 2 [7 favorites]


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posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:01 PM on February 2


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posted by crasiman at 12:02 PM on February 2


One of my very favorite actors. My spousal dude got to meet him at a comedy open mic last year when he was in town filming Catching Fire, and I was super jealous. I'm just devastated by this. I wanted to watch him acting for years and years to come.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:02 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


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posted by jayder at 12:02 PM on February 2


Damn. This is terrible.

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posted by homunculus at 12:02 PM on February 2


I love his work and will grief not being able to see where he would go.

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posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:02 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


so, so sad.
posted by ouke at 12:03 PM on February 2


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posted by Jacqueline at 12:03 PM on February 2


"Shut up! Shut the fuck up!", "Excuse me. Thank you. Thank you.", "You're acting aggressive, because you drank too much alcohol.", "Also, water goes over a dam and under a bridge, you poncy schoolboy.", "Can I kiss you?"
posted by Going To Maine at 12:03 PM on February 2 [11 favorites]


I first noticed him in Boogie Nights. His character Scotty is so needy and vulnerable. PSH seemed so courageous and sensitive; he won a fan that very day.

For me on a personal level, with two (not one, but two) close relatives at varying stages of recovery from heroin addictions, this hits me in the gut. If the news is to be believed, he was clean for 23 years. 23 years. He fell off the wagon, he slipped and fell after 23 years. This is so unbelievably discouraging - to know that someone so intelligent, so talented, and clearly - wealthy, could lose his way like this. What hope have I that my loved ones who are not nearly so intelligent, talented or wealthy, that they will survive? I weep today not just for the loss of PSH, I weep as well for all those heroin addicts who grow ever more discouraged about their chances of licking this awful disease.
posted by msali at 12:03 PM on February 2 [22 favorites]


His IMDB page gives his height as 5'9".

I stand corrected. And a little embarrassed.
posted by Jughead at 12:04 PM on February 2


His popping on the screen in Almost Famous as Lester Bangs was one of my all-time movie thrills, not only because of the performance but of course because of "Dori Bangs", a beautiful story with which I had a complicated relationship (at once the apex, but also the end, of my obsession with science fiction, as I realized how good it could be and usually bad it was.)
posted by MattD at 12:04 PM on February 2 [7 favorites]


Fuck you, heroin.

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posted by JeffK at 12:05 PM on February 2


Yeah, I read this article earlier this week about Fentanyl laced heroin. I wonder if that was the culprit?
posted by cloeburner at 12:05 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Man alive, that sucks.

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posted by jquinby at 12:06 PM on February 2


He was so incredibly talented.

He stole the crap out of Boogie Nights, Almost Famous and almost everything he was in.

Much too young. Man, I'm depressed.

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posted by Sphinx at 12:06 PM on February 2


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:06 PM on February 2


the six-foot-something Hoffman
His IMDB page gives his height as 5'9".


I could almost believe he was capable of changing his height at will depending on what the character called for. He was that good.
posted by uosuaq at 12:06 PM on February 2 [29 favorites]


"Excuse me, what the fuck?"

The end of that clip is about as succinct a summation of his career as we're going to get.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:07 PM on February 2 [11 favorites]


There's probably going to be a State and Main/Moneyball double-header at my house to night. And unless Marsawn Lynch runs for 6,000 yards today it will be the more enjoyable viewing experience.

When he's arguing with Billy about putting in Hatty over Pena he's able to communicate that he's actually right. Yeah he's opposing the hero of the film, but the hero's idea is harebrained to someone in his position. He's not just being obstinate, his character has a real understandable motivation, and he was a master at portraying that while also portraying a bit of prick. That's good acting.

Gonna miss him. He would have made a good Penguin.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 12:07 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by jpziller at 12:08 PM on February 2


He would have made a good anything
posted by fullerine at 12:08 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


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posted by venividivici at 12:09 PM on February 2


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posted by Dr. Zira at 12:09 PM on February 2


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posted by Spatch at 12:09 PM on February 2


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:10 PM on February 2


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posted by KillaSeal at 12:11 PM on February 2


A great actor and a great loss.

It would be pronounced "a reat actor and a reat loss".

The G is silent, per "Scent of a Woman".

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posted by hal_c_on at 12:12 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Heartbreaking. He was so good in every role. Even if the film smelled, PSH gave outstanding performances. I'm just.....sad. Poor fellow.

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posted by but no cigar at 12:14 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Oh hell. Such young children. And such divine talent. True tragedy.
posted by taff at 12:14 PM on February 2


I've known Phil for 10 years. He was as generous and gregarious as he was difficult and discombobulated. He made us frustrated and exuberant simultaneously, but he was one of those people who just had a special spirit, a force you could feel even when you passed him on the street.

I wish I could say I never thought he'd do this.
posted by benbenson at 12:14 PM on February 2 [90 favorites]


A loss for anyone who enjoys good acting, and unimaginably terrible for his family and friends. My heart goes out to them.

Hoffman was never less than solid in any role he played, and more often than not was the best thing about whatever movie he happened to be in. I wish he could have found another way to deal with whatever psychic or physical pain he was in, and I'm going to miss seeing him do more stuff.

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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 12:16 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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I loved him in Punch Drunk Love, a film I otherwise disliked. Too soon and never again.
posted by Mittenz at 12:17 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


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posted by JoeZydeco at 12:18 PM on February 2


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posted by flippant at 12:19 PM on February 2


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posted by gone2croatan at 12:19 PM on February 2


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I admired him. He was a serious artist.
posted by vecchio at 12:19 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


i just watched Charlie Wilson's War again recently. i had read the book before the movie, as well.

Tom Hanks portraying Charlie Wilson was more or less Tom Hanks being a flamboyant texan Tom Hanks.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman became the Gust Avrakatos the book had described. he stole the movie. you know he's an actor, and yet alongside Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, he's the one of the three you see as the movie character and not the actor playing someone.
posted by ninjew at 12:19 PM on February 2 [9 favorites]


I've known Phil for 10 years.

I am so sorry that you lost your friend. I'm glad you had him in your life for as long as you did, though.
posted by MissySedai at 12:19 PM on February 2 [12 favorites]


Seriously tragic. I just watched The Master a couple weeks ago and PSH gives one of the most powerful performances I've ever seen from an actor. Usually, I don't like when directors constantly use the same actors, but it never bothered me with PSH and P.T. Andserson because of Hoffman's immense talent.
posted by saul wright at 12:19 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by Jimbob at 12:21 PM on February 2


I don't think anyone has mentioned his magnificent performance alongside Meryl Streep in 2008's Doubt. Truly wondrous.

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posted by Seekerofsplendor at 12:23 PM on February 2 [8 favorites]


My friend who works in New York is devastated - she knew him personally. I'm pretty sad too. I feel like, I just wanted to give him a hug. A big cuddly hug. :-(
posted by chainsofreedom at 12:24 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Gifted. And now gone, all that talent and humanity. He played the full range of conscience and emotions from the villains whose gaze you were too frightened to break-away from to the humble and venial side characters. But the role that made me think here is a man who does nuance was the male nurse in Magnolia. The earnestness and habitation of that role was and is amazing. Sweet Jesus, I feel so bad for his family. Love and talent should not go this way.

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posted by jadepearl at 12:25 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


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posted by LobsterMitten at 12:25 PM on February 2


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posted by KTamas at 12:26 PM on February 2


I never really got "into" him until I saw his role in "Charlie Wilson's War". Loved it. He will be missed. Way too young.
posted by mrbill at 12:27 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by cookie-k at 12:27 PM on February 2


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Infuriated and deeply saddened.
posted by sibboleth at 12:27 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by Golden Eternity at 12:31 PM on February 2


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posted by fatbaq at 12:32 PM on February 2


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posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 12:33 PM on February 2


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posted by Monkey0nCrack at 12:33 PM on February 2


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posted by sutt at 12:34 PM on February 2


Fuck. One of the actors I truly was amazed by.

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posted by lalochezia at 12:34 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


Seriously one of my favorite actors ever. I will always watch a movie he is in, regardless of what it is about. There are only a couple of other actors who have this kind of screen appeal for me.

My favorite movie with him is Owning Mahowney, about an addiction of another kind. I'll watch the entire movie just to provide emotional context for this dialogue, which always hits close to home for me:

Psychologist: How would you rate the thrill you got from gambling, on a scale of one to 100?
Dan Mahowny: Um... hundred.
Psychologist: And what about the biggest thrill you've ever had outside of gambling?
Dan Mahowny: Twenty.


Addiction sucks.

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posted by SpacemanStix at 12:34 PM on February 2 [12 favorites]


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posted by aught at 12:35 PM on February 2


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:35 PM on February 2


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posted by OolooKitty at 12:35 PM on February 2


turbid dahlia called it

What a terrible shame, he was incredible.
posted by biscotti at 12:36 PM on February 2 [7 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:36 PM on February 2


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posted by Red Desk at 12:36 PM on February 2


My siblings and I have followed him all along as in some roles he had a physicality that reminded us of one of our brothers to the extent we'd find it off putting if he was also playing a creep or villain. In other roles not at all. That's what I found so amazing about him, how different he could be.

This death makes me sick.
posted by readery at 12:37 PM on February 2


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posted by St. Sorryass at 12:39 PM on February 2


The man was the very definition of Charisma.
Think about how many of his characters were totally loathsome and and then think about how you couldn't take your eyes off him playing them.
He managed to inject a gravity into Hunger Games that definitely helped make it go from kinda-sill to tense and gripping for me. In nearly anyone else's hands that role would be a scenery-chewer for a mustache-twirler, but he gave it a weight and a sharpness nobody else could have.
I will really miss seeing where he was going to take that.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:41 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


There is a very small of pool of celebrities that I'm not just sad about when they die but that I actively miss on an ongoing basis.

I think about them now and then and I'm keenly aware that they left before they should have and I want more of their work in the world -- and that work is not just stuff that someone else will step in and do, it's stuff that will just not ever exist now.

I miss Jim Henson and Phil Hartman and Amy Winehouse and Eddie Guerrero and I miss Philip Seymour Hoffman.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 12:42 PM on February 2 [30 favorites]


We saw him do "Death of a Salesman" about two years ago. He was a fine actor and this loss is enormous for all of us.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:43 PM on February 2


And this is from an interview that appeared in The Guardian, October, 2011:

Blimey, I say, you seem to be suffering from a severe case of positivity. He smiles. "No, you know what I mean, this isn't everything, there will be another film, there will be another relationship, or I'll die and then I'll be dead. But if I'm alive I know life is going to keep throwing things at me." He walks slowly over to the window, lights a fag and puffs smoke out into the sunshine. And I leave him staring silently into the future, the bleakest optimist you ever did see.

Oh. It's too much.
posted by but no cigar at 12:43 PM on February 2 [12 favorites]


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posted by vibrotronica at 12:44 PM on February 2


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posted by IvoShandor at 12:44 PM on February 2


No. Fuck this news. Going back to bed.

Shit. So much God dammed talent.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:44 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


He was also kind of amazing (and hard to recognize) in Flawless, which was otherwise pretty much a piece of shit. That's how good he was.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:45 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


God damn it. So sad. His poor family.

It's hard to pick one role of his that is my favourite, though I think his performance in Magnolia might be it. And (somehow, amazingly) I actually did not know he had had issues with addiction, but now I can't help but think of Owning Mahoney and how much personal stuff he must have brought to that role.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:45 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Can't we do better than to lead off with the "needle in his arm" quote? Stay classy, Metafilter.

Well to be fair, it's what happened. He chose to do that, regardless of how brilliant of an actor he was.

Substance abuse is a horrible, horrible thing.

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posted by Malice at 12:48 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by guiseroom at 12:50 PM on February 2


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posted by mkim at 12:51 PM on February 2


We lost an immense talent, one who could do it all -- comedy, drama, action, art house and every other niche -- while bringing something new and unexpected to just about every role he played. I first saw him in Scent of a Woman, and although I thought he looked too old for the part, he captured the essence of his character; a snide, sarcastic, quite despicable rich kid, amazingly well. I don't think I've ever seen a bad performance by him and he rarely appeared in stinkers (one exception being Twister). The one film of his I've never seen and always wanted to is Happiness. I missed it when it was released and Blockbuster didn't carry it because of the subject matter, and then I forgot all about it. I'll add it to my Netflix queue.

R.I.P. PSH. You will be missed.
posted by Devils Slide at 12:54 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


"Actors are responsible to the people we play." - Philip Seymour Hoffman

He will be missed.

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posted by katherant at 12:54 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Trying to remember what the turning point for me was in watching Hoffman's career and I finally recalled Love Liza. Caught it at a very emotional point in my life and it was perfect. Too bad. Shit sucks.

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posted by coolxcool=rad at 12:55 PM on February 2


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posted by How the runs scored at 12:58 PM on February 2


Ebert on Hoffman.
posted by John Cohen at 12:59 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


About a decade ago I remember devouring every single thing Hoffman was in, including movies then-unknown to me like Owning Mahowny and State and Main. He's always been fabulous, but what a run he had from about 1999 through 2005: Magnolia, Almost Famous, 25th Hour, Cold Mountain, Capote. This news really sucks.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:01 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


He was such a good actor, that I just flat out didn't like him personally, from the roles he'd played. But I like to think I am insightful enough to recognize that that is the actor's genius, to make the spectator feel a certain way.

The man was one goddamn good actor, I tell you that. The world's a poorer place today.
posted by Xoebe at 1:02 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by bibliowench at 1:03 PM on February 2


Don't forget Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Sidney Lumet's last film.

What an amazing array of directors Hoffman worked with and elevated. Lumet, Martin Brest, P.T. Anderson, Jan de Bont, the Coens, Todd Solondz, Joel Schumacher, Anthony Minghella, David Mamet, Cameron Crowe, Spike Lee, J.J. Abrams, Mike Nichols, Charlie Kaufman, Anton Corbijn, and more.

An actor's actor, indeed.
posted by suprenant at 1:04 PM on February 2 [7 favorites]


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posted by linear_arborescent_thought at 1:04 PM on February 2


Every time something like this happens, I come to the MeFi comments section and am able to find some solace for that indescribable emotion you feel when an actor you never met, but to whom you nevertheless felt a deep connection, dies. So thank you, my fellow MeFites. And thank you, Philip Seymour Hoffman, for your amazing work.

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posted by that silly white dress at 1:04 PM on February 2 [12 favorites]


Can't we do better than to lead off with the "needle in his arm" quote? Stay classy, Metafilter.

Well to be fair, it's what happened. He chose to do that, regardless of how brilliant of an actor he was.


Plus, maybe sadly, there are some folks who are close to his age bracket that look for a specific cause whenever someone their age dies suddenly so that they can say "Whew, it wasn't his cholesterol level". That kind of thing hits too close to home for most folks, whereas a drug overdose - while still tragic - gives a large population of 40- and 50-somethings a margin of relief when someone in their peer group is found dead in their home.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:07 PM on February 2 [12 favorites]


Respect

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posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:07 PM on February 2


I am so so so sad about this. I'm not much of a movie person or a celebrity person; usually I am not affected too much. But this just makes me so sad and upset. I might re-watch The Savages (1997) tonight, which is so so good.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:08 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


. . .the damage done. . .

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posted by Danf at 1:08 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


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posted by j_curiouser at 1:11 PM on February 2


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posted by Fence at 1:12 PM on February 2


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posted by The Michael The at 1:12 PM on February 2


So the absolute bafflement begins, with no answers at the end.

I hate relapses like this, everything to live for and nothing to look forward to.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:13 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


Such a great actor, I enjoyed every movie I saw with him, and him in it. So sad, such a sad way to go.

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posted by ipsative at 1:14 PM on February 2


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posted by Renoroc at 1:15 PM on February 2


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posted by valkane at 1:15 PM on February 2


Damnit.


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posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 1:15 PM on February 2


He was such an amazing actor. No matter the roll the screen lit up when he was on it. He had many amazing performances but to me will always be Dusty from Twister.

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I know it was not that great of a part but he made me love him that day.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 1:15 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


This is just a personal observation but saying 'found dead with a needle in his arm' is probably a lot more accurate than saying OD. He closed a difficult book he was reading. It was the end of the book .
posted by vicx at 1:16 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by mondo dentro at 1:18 PM on February 2


So saddened to hear of his death. I always loved seeing him act. My sympathies to his family. Fuck addiction.

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posted by arcticseal at 1:18 PM on February 2


About 10 years ago, my husband and I went to see The Aristrocrats at the Arc Light theater in LA. We spotted Hoffman in the lobby where he was apparently waiting for friends. (we didn't approach him because, you know, not cool to impose on a total stranger just because you saw them in a movie) Judging only by body language and the enthusiasm he greeted his friends with, he seemed to be a really warm, sweet guy.

Seriously, fuck addiction.

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posted by echolalia67 at 1:19 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Fuck heroin, fuck addiction and triply fuck relapse. His poor family.
posted by Space Kitty at 1:20 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


This is so awful. My thoughts are with his family.

Being a Torontonian I have spent a lot of the past year earnestly excited about the idea that Hoffman could one day play our mayor Rob Ford in a film. He was the only actor I could imagine doing the character justice -- the only one who could have really brought out the dark, sad absurdity of the situation. Other people could play an overweight tabloid villain, but only Hoffman would make us understand. But until today I had no idea how much they had in common.

And now Hoffman is dead and my mayor is an unrepentant addict and I am very, very sad.

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posted by saturday_morning at 1:21 PM on February 2 [27 favorites]


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posted by Atreides at 1:25 PM on February 2


This sucks. Sorry for his family and friends. A loss for everyone that enjoyed his talent as an actor.

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posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 1:26 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by Think [Instrumental] at 1:26 PM on February 2


My roommate told me about this when I woke up and I thought he was pranking me because it's just so unbelievable. Damn.
posted by gucci mane at 1:27 PM on February 2


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SLYT
posted by JoeBlubaugh at 1:28 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Can't we do better than to lead off with the "needle in his arm" quote?

Actually, the first text in this post is: "Award-winning Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan." I think "award-winning actor" is a pretty respectful and appropriate way to introduce this news. Then, the reader is shocked to find out he's dead (I involuntarily yelled "Oh my God!" when I saw this post), and naturally wants to know how it happened to someone so young. It cries out for an explanation of the cause of death. So the post and the Post do go into details. It's only natural for this obit to be presented differently than, say, the one for another great actor, Joan Fontaine, when she recently died at 96.

So I think the post is OK. Yeah, I would have preferred the link to be the New York Times instead of the Post. But let's look at the first few paragraphs of the NYT obit:
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.
That's not that different from the Post article.
posted by John Cohen at 1:28 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


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posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:30 PM on February 2


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posted by baniak at 1:35 PM on February 2


Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:35 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


benbenson, so sorry for your loss. I know that the love and grief of a bunch of internet strangers who loved him as an actor is a drop in the ocean compared to the gut wrenching grief of those who knew him as a person. I hope that there is some comfort in the fact that people here care more about his accomplishments than the sordid (and frankly irrelevant) press coverage of his passing.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:38 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by bakery at 1:38 PM on February 2


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posted by Dr. Twist at 1:42 PM on February 2


In late 2012 I helped bring someone back from a heroin overdose with a shot of Naloxone. The person was not breathing, had vomited, and was beginning to turn blue. An IM injection of Naloxone to the back of his arm and within minutes he was breathing, within 20 minutes lucid, and within an hour he was helping clean up his vomit and apologizing for the mess.

If heroin users would not use alone and keep Naloxone (also called Narcan) on hand, they would stand a very good chance of surviving incidents like this.
posted by telstar at 1:44 PM on February 2 [32 favorites]


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posted by kewb at 1:46 PM on February 2


Such a fine actor. Phillip Seymour Hoffman made me happy to be uncool.


Lester Bangs: Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong.
William Miller: Well, it was fun.
Lester Bangs: They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool.
William Miller: I know. Even when I thought I was, I knew I wasn't.
Lester Bangs: That's because we're uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don't have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter.
William Miller: I can really see that now.
Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love... and let's face it, you got a big head start.
William Miller: I'm glad you were home.
Lester Bangs: I'm always home. I'm uncool.
William Miller: Me too!
Lester Bangs: The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool.
William Miller: I feel better.
Lester Bangs: My advice to you. I know you think those guys are your friends. You wanna be a true friend to them? Be honest, and unmerciful.

posted by grimjeer at 1:50 PM on February 2 [28 favorites]


I'd say fuck the war on (some) drugs more than fuck heroin. I don't know that there's any way for people to be safely addicted to opiates but the stories in culture and in my own life of people dying this way revolve around imprecise dosing, failure to call emergency services, inadequate preparation or dirty needles... these post-rehab relapse deaths are the worst and seem so unnecessary.

Such a shame. PSH elevated everything he was in.
posted by phearlez at 1:50 PM on February 2 [14 favorites]


There's three little ones left, aren't there? And I can't imagine that in his heart he wanted to leave them. How much pain must he have been in to find solace in heroin, after so many years sober?

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posted by droplet at 1:51 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by nertzy at 1:52 PM on February 2


@ He leaves us with a great body of work that will continue to touch humanity, and help us grow.
posted by Vibrissae at 1:52 PM on February 2


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posted by whistle pig at 1:52 PM on February 2


I am totally disoriented by the cunning, baffling and immutable nature of addiction and how it has taken down a titan of filmmaking, that somehow I ended up in recovery, that somehow that ended up being the best decision of my life, and how that all can end in one moment.

A life truly cut short. This is a profound loss.
posted by phaedon at 1:58 PM on February 2 [8 favorites]


Damn.

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posted by carter at 2:00 PM on February 2


Shit.

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posted by xarnop at 2:01 PM on February 2


I almost turned off Capote after feeling insulted at this crappy Droopy Dog impersonation that he was doing throughout the film as the title character.

It wasn't until I checked out the DVD extras that included a Tonight Show appearance by the real Truman Capote. I don't think I ate my words faster in all my life. The man truely played Capote better than Capote.

Better to burn out than fade away. I suppose.

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posted by dr_dank at 2:01 PM on February 2 [12 favorites]


So many great performances in so many great films. His loss to the acting community is immeasurable. So many great performances we'll never see now.

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posted by crossoverman at 2:03 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by kinetic at 2:09 PM on February 2


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posted by jwhite1979 at 2:09 PM on February 2


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posted by fuse theorem at 2:10 PM on February 2


He was really, really good at what he did. I can't think of a movie where he wasn't worth watching.

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posted by postcommunism at 2:12 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by dealing away at 2:12 PM on February 2


I loved his voice so much.

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posted by likeatoaster at 2:15 PM on February 2 [10 favorites]


A tragic loss. Fucking heroin.

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posted by dbiedny at 2:15 PM on February 2


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posted by HandfulOfDust at 2:17 PM on February 2


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posted by Mezentian at 2:30 PM on February 2


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posted by CommonSense at 2:38 PM on February 2


I think Synecdoche, NY was the last if his movies I watched. I saw it last year, and decided to take a break from his films for a bit to let that performance stand on it's own in my mind for awhile. I thought there were going to be so many more...
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:38 PM on February 2 [9 favorites]


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posted by jes5199 at 2:43 PM on February 2


The cops and some doctors I've spoken to recently say that heroin has become the drug of choice for many who can no longer get the prescription opioids they were previously able to get from drugs. That, combined with the fentanyl problem mentioned above, could well be responsible for an increase in overdosing and deaths we're seeing in the NY area.

And yes, RIP. He had decades more of great work ahead of him.
posted by etaoin at 2:44 PM on February 2


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posted by chinesefood at 2:46 PM on February 2


John Cohen: " That's not that different from the Post article."

The NYT is clearly going for decorum, though, while the Post is trying to sound scandalous. If you're going to err on the side of one of those two options, I'd pick decorum.
posted by hoyland at 2:46 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I think the first I ever came across PSH was in Scent of a Woman, where he played an amazingly charismatic slimeball. Since then I've just loved to watch him in whatever he was in, almost like he was addictive. Then I saw Mission Impossible III and I thought, there's something wrong here. Sure, he was acting-with-a-capital-A the part of a sociopath, but something seemed completely dead inside him, beyond the character.

We watched The Hunger Games recently and I don't know the guy, never met him, but even I could see that he was chronically, desperately depressed and disconnected, and it kinda makes me think, was Hollywood so desperate to chew him up that nobody in that whole great machine had the fucking wherewithal to say "Whoa, hold on"?

Junkies are junkies, sure, and for the most part irredeemable (in my not-exactly-limited experience with them), but that he was able to get away with it for so long, in the position of power and influence and wealth that he was in, and was surrounded by, should be the opening tones in the death knell of Hollywood, and should be a slap in the face of any kid who looks up at the screen with shining eyes and thinks that that is something any human should aspire to be a part of.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:47 PM on February 2 [10 favorites]


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What a terrible loss – of course, for his family and friends, but also to all of us. He was a master. He's irreplaceable.

We could spend all day talking about Hoffman's talent and the unforgettable performances he's created – and we probably will. It's as good a memorial as any. With that in mind, it's good to see the lesser-known Owning Mahowny mentioned here. It's a tremendous piece of filmmaking, but more than that, Philip Seymour Hoffman's Mahowny is an indelible portrait of quiet compulsion, of a utterly internal, unexplained urge that doesn't count the cost, even if that cost is total destruction.
posted by Elsa at 2:49 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by jlbartosa at 2:51 PM on February 2


I feel so bad for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s three kids. My dad also died on superbowl sunday, and it’s a very strange feeling. You have this insular numbness in the middle of this freewheeling national party… The disconnect between how you feel and how everyone else feels is another alien aspect to an altogether overwhelming experience.

I don’t have a lot to say about the man that isn’t already being said in a thousand places today, but I do think it’s worth noting that despite his acclaim as a serious actor - which he definitely was - he was also likely to pop up as very comic characters, or in bit parts in strange movies. I loved the fluidity of his career, where he wasn’t cordoned off into a particular type of intense actor-y role like a lot of his award winning peers. There aren't a lot of people that would switch back and forth between the Mattress King from Punch Drunk Love and the priest from Doubt, and god bless him for it.
posted by Kiablokirk at 2:51 PM on February 2 [15 favorites]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 2:55 PM on February 2


WTF

I turn my back for 48 hours and Philip Seymour Hoffman dies?

I wasn't even explicitly his fan, but I saw enough to know how good an actor he was.

How could this possibly be allowed to happen. Fucking goddamn.
posted by tel3path at 2:56 PM on February 2


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(46, for fuck's sake‽)
posted by acb at 3:01 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by runincircles at 3:02 PM on February 2


I don't wanna make a thing of this, but because a couple of people have asked, in the thread I originally commented on (Victoria Will's Tintypes of folk at Sundance), the link used to have a picture of PSH (which, unless I have gone crazy, is no longer there). This is it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:03 PM on February 2 [20 favorites]


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posted by dogwalker at 3:04 PM on February 2


His performance in Synecdoche, New York is painful to watch. I mean that in a good way, obviously. And Charlie Wilson's War just was his performance. Yeah, this is so fucking sad.
posted by brundlefly at 3:05 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by brundlefly at 3:05 PM on February 2


I turn my back for 48 hours and Philip Seymour Hoffman dies?

I was offline for a few hours for a family brunch. When I hopped back on, the first thing I saw was a friend suggesting that we should watch State & Main and Hard Eight, and another suggested Magnolia. I was all casual/excited: "I'M IN, anytime!" because, well, no kidding. When do I not want to see those movies?

Then I scrolled down the page and yelped "NO. NO NO NO."
posted by Elsa at 3:06 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Yeah... Synecdoche, New York. A movie so desperately sad and so desperately funny that I have a hard time recommending it to any but a select few, even though it lives in my personal top fifteen or so. I took it as a personal validation that Ebert mentioned that it was very narrowly bumped off his last Sight and Sound list by The Tree of Life, another almost unrecommendable masterpiece that lives close to my fucked-up heart.

Hoffman was magnificent in that movie, for which, even though I never knew him, he will live in my fucked-up heart for a long time.
posted by Kinbote at 3:07 PM on February 2 [9 favorites]


Exactly, Kiablokirk -- one of the things I respected about him was his willingness to take on the small roles even as he became an actually known star, and just come in and be perfect -- not even a scene-stealer, because he was past that, and he was also a generous actor. You can see that as early as Magnolia, where he and Cruise are at the bedside of Hall, and Cruise -- whom you can tell is taking it seriously, but just fundamentally isn't capable of the same level of acting -- is trying so hard to act to the point where you can see the wheels turning inside his head, whereas Hoffman, standing in the background, quietly weeping, is acting circles around the guy, practically without lifting a finger. But he doesn't act as a spoiler, he lets Cruise do his thing, and it works because the character is such a perfect Cruise character and a critique of his starmaking roles in that this guy's an asshole and so are so many of the others he plays. Or as late as The Master, working with Joaquin Phoenix, an actor I had hated up until this point but gave a chance due to PTA. Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd is mesmerizing, but never crushes or outplays or walks over Phoenix, who summons something within himself in that film -- and the two of them become so simpatico throughout the movie that you feel the reality of both characters. That's direction, to some extent, but it's also Hoffman's ability to not just act inside some snow globe, but in a scene with other characters, elevating them by his own whip-smart and intense attention to naturalism and detail.

God. So many roles that even a movie nut like myself is woefully behind on.

PSH pinged my radar on an episode of Law and Order in the early 1990s.

His first credit, in fact. I salute the tuning of your radar. For me, it was the same as a lot of others -- Scotty in Boogie Nights.
posted by dhartung at 3:10 PM on February 2 [10 favorites]


His performance in Synecdoche, New York is painful to watch.

The first time I watched Synecdoche, New York, I was more than frustrated by the film; I was exhausted and actively hostile to it. But I couldn't stop thinking about it all night and day, and the next evening I watched it again.

On second viewing, the pace was breathtaking: what had felt draggingly slow – because it couldn't possibly have outpaced my inevitable anticipation and anxiety – was revealed as a meditative, elegiac rumination on the ineffability of loss and the impossibility of fully realizing our dreams and desires, and the tremendous power in trying to do so anyhow.
posted by Elsa at 3:15 PM on February 2 [10 favorites]


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posted by klangklangston at 3:16 PM on February 2


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posted by wrapper at 3:23 PM on February 2


I think the first thing I remember seeing him in was Scent of a Woman, and then Twister, of all things.

Synecdoche, NY has pretty much haunted me since I saw it. What a brilliant, brilliant craftsman he was.
posted by jquinby at 3:25 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by ambrosen at 3:30 PM on February 2


*sigh* I guess this is one of those days where we don't make excuses for the existence of heroin. Again.

Smallpox. TB. Malaria. HIV. Polio. But never heroin. Why that? Why is that one so hard?

The list of names makes a long scroll. So much talent ... erased. Once again we'll fandango past it.
posted by Twang at 3:33 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I have not closely followed PSH's career but by coincidence, I watched The Savages and Synechdoche NY almost back to back last year and while they are very different, they seem nicely paired (PSH plays a theater person in each, and there's a kind of worn-down, tired sadness in his performances). I wondered "is this who he is?" Just something about those terrific and sad performances is haunting in light of today's news.
posted by jayder at 3:34 PM on February 2


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posted by fiercecupcake at 3:34 PM on February 2


"Synecdoche, NY" is a profound, fascinating and moving work of art. I'm very sad that the world no longer has Philip Seymour Hoffman, maybe the best actor of his generation.
posted by davebush at 3:35 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


DAMMIT, NO

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posted by pxe2000 at 3:38 PM on February 2


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Man, I don't even have the words.
posted by Diagonalize at 3:39 PM on February 2


Cold comfort, but at least his turn in The Hunger Games trilogy was apparently almost entirely completed before his passing. The WSJ says he had only a week's worth of shooting left in the Mockingjay Parts I & II shoot, with only one scene remaining, in which he did not factor heavily. He'll be written out of that scene, but otherwise, his performance will be complete and intact. No reshoots, let alone recasting appear to be necessary to finish his role.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:41 PM on February 2 [17 favorites]


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posted by newdaddy at 3:53 PM on February 2


Much like upon learning of the death of Heath Ledger, I was glad to hear he'd finished shooting his role as the Joker, I am grateful that we'll still get to see Philip Seymour Hoffman for the next two years as Plutarch Heavensbee.
posted by crossoverman at 3:53 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Wait, seriously? That's the character's name? That's awesome.
posted by brundlefly at 3:56 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


This makes me feel old. He was a great actor, and his part in The Master was defining. Way too soon.
posted by codacorolla at 4:04 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Twang, what do you mean? You're making a point but I'm not understanding, and I'm interested in knowing what you're making reference to there in your comment.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 4:04 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


A favourite actor in the Codger household. Damn.

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posted by Artful Codger at 4:05 PM on February 2


Oh no. I feel such a strong sense of loss knowing that. So sad. What a loss to the world. An extraordinary actor. Deep, complex and authentic. I will miss him terribly. I had no idea he had such addiction issues and now I know he died that way it makes total sense. Still, am in shock with this news on, of all Sundays, the Super Bowl Sunday. Such a strange combination, that crass excitement and this.

One identifies with actors on screen and, in that way, gets to know more about the world and oneself, not merely be entertained by a plot. I felt I knew myself better watching him play the roles his did. It's strange to say that. There is something powerful in revealing one's vulnerabilities or seeing another person do that. He was expert in that and it couldn't have been easy.

Selfishly, I will miss Philip Seymour Hoffman for his portraying the intricacies of the human mind, that revealed the worst sides of myself and others, including and especially all the many dark layers that are so hard to carry off for actors with any subtlety and are part of the true brocade of life, the neuroses, the many faces of rage, insecurities, sly thoughts, being smug, glib, desperate, profoundly sad, self-indulgent, corrupted, weak, gloating, bored, crude, vulgar, sneaky, greedy, mean, narcissistic, perverse, impulsive, needy, envious, lusting, arrogant, pathetic, obsessive, suffering. The stuff everybody prefers to hide, not know about in themselves or others.

In a way I feel guilty for hungering for his playing those roles so well. Could they have been such a terrible burden on him that he needed relief, needed endorphins so badly that heroin seemed like it might hit the spot instead of anything of the other choices he could have made? He worked so hard for 23 solid years, half his life and from 1997 was award winning, not just in film, in theater too, then producing. I loved the one film he directed too, Jack Goes Boating. But then it seems he had a huge appetite for various highs from a long time ago. Awww. I do feel really sad he died. His kids, his beautiful kids and family.

My condolences to his family, wishing them healing as time goes by.

May he have realized blissful resonance in the universe.
posted by nickyskye at 4:05 PM on February 2 [20 favorites]


He made MI3 watchable, now that's real acting genius.

I actually started speaking with a soft lisp/drawl after watching Capote.
posted by ovvl at 4:11 PM on February 2


from the Facebook feed of actor and poet Saul Williams:

What Billie Holiday, Bill Evans, Fat Navarro, Charlie Parker, Basquiat, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Chet Baker, Philip Seymour Hoffman and so many others had in common is that their sensitivity showed through their art.... Seeing the world the way they did is a condition that is not supported by the status quo or merely successful careers. Stop blaming the dreamer for wanting to dream. For all we know their careers and lives may have ended much sooner if they hadn't had found the crutches that eventually crippled them. The peace they felt in their highest moments is exactly what I wish them.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 4:13 PM on February 2 [22 favorites]


Photograph in the Telegraph.
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posted by Anitanola at 4:14 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


These are images of the types of glassine envelopes the heroin came in, like the Ace of Spade one, taken by a photographer who had been an addict. Apparently, this is a brand of heroin that hasn’t been seen on the streets since around 2008 in Brooklyn.
posted by nickyskye at 4:20 PM on February 2


He stole every scene. What a great talent, and a tragic loss.

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posted by blurker at 4:33 PM on February 2


Jim Carrey tweeted:

“Dear Philip, a beautiful beautiful soul. For the most sensitive among us the noise can be too much. Bless your heart.”
posted by QuakerMel at 4:39 PM on February 2 [9 favorites]


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posted by freshwater at 5:02 PM on February 2


I am sad, not just or myself but for every person he touched in any way.

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posted by bjgeiger at 5:22 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by i_have_a_computer at 5:25 PM on February 2


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He was a great actor and so much a part of the fabric of the NYC off broadway scene. The theatre world is a small one and his life and work was intertwined with so many of my past colleagues'. I am mourning their loss as well as culture's loss of a tremendous artist.
posted by stagewhisper at 5:32 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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posted by ribbit ribbit at 5:33 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by radwolf76 at 5:47 PM on February 2


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posted by dougzilla at 5:48 PM on February 2


The NYT is clearly going for decorum, though, while the Post is trying to sound scandalous.

From the Times obit: "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."

How could that be any more sordid? How can you call that "decorum"?
posted by John Cohen at 5:48 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


(Nothing against the Times or the Post, by the way. They'd be crazy not to report this important news, right down to the unpleasant details.)
posted by John Cohen at 5:50 PM on February 2



Hoffman was never afraid of silence, and that's what made him great. That's that
posted by any major dude at 5:59 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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I'm normally pretty cynical about celebrity deaths, but this one is really making me sad :(
posted by Joh at 6:01 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I know there have been a lot of deaths over the past few years I've been on mefi but this one really... I'm glad there are others here. Philip, you were really fucking awesome, dude. And I remember looking up his birthday and seeing it was two days apart from mine, and thinking he must be especially awesome because it's a good time of year to be born.
He so zealously and gleefully, would play such pathetic and creepy characters while still bringing so much humanity- watching him act you felt like, well at least I did- I've met a lot of fucked up people in my life, I feel fucked up inside too and I can relate- but sometimes there's this sense of ----Look at how despicable these people are but yet they seem so helplessly trapped and blind in their wretched ways, can't we still see the humanity there? What is up with people like this? What is up with aspects of ourselves that feel fucked up? And he portrayed such tragic inner turmoil and misery so well. I always worry when anyone can do that-- you have to know at least a bit about it to play it so well. I hope his acting was a good outlet for him-- I hope sharing of himself in film was an act of outwardly expressing whatever he wanted to express and being seen by others added to his life.

Sometimes I'm not sure if that's the case-- if people in pain are getting what they need out of acting or it's just taking from them or making things worse. I don't know anything about his life but from a few interviews or whether he was actually in any internal pain or if his acting and my experience of it reflects any actual piece of him, but all the same, it made an impression.

I'm just rambling, I just sort of think there's something powerful about say, the rune stones standing there in monument to those lost-- and here are these letters typed in patterns and they carry feelings and testimony to the existence of another human being.

Somehow these things are comforting. I don't want anyone to do acting or carry difficult roles on my account-- I don't even watch darker movies because I do worry how that impacts the actors and beyond the initial exploration I'm not sure that I get much from it--- I feel I am more enriched with My Little Pony and similarly explosively magically happy media. Then again, I do think if someone really wants/needs to explore this stuff, wants it out there, has something of themselves to share it or something they think needs to be explored-- I mean there's a lot of really horrible suffering in the world, a lot of people living terrible painful and complex lives. Although I feel like I would rather understand and CHANGE the sources of that suffering than just make films about it. Let's understand what went wrong, let's figure out how to prevent these things and make things as better as we can. But when we can't sometimes the best we can do is comfort, understanding, and as much support as can be made.
posted by xarnop at 6:04 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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"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]
posted by peacay at 6:04 PM on February 2 [7 favorites]


dr_dank: Better to burn out than fade away. I suppose.

Pretty sure I'd rather have had him around for another 30-40 years. Pretty sure his kids and partner would have, too.
posted by tzikeh at 6:11 PM on February 2 [15 favorites]


The Talented Mr. Ripley was the first film I remember-- he just burned off the screen for all of the handful of scenes he was in. And the moment when he confronts Ripley in Rome-- you've never seen anybody make two or three notes tapped out on a piano feel so terrifying.
posted by jokeefe at 6:17 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


Owning Mahowny is a fav that I have turned many ppl onto.

R I P
posted by shockingbluamp at 6:24 PM on February 2


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posted by MelanieL at 6:26 PM on February 2


I was 15 when Capote came out, 16 when I watched it. We happened to have just read the book in class. That was the first time I saw real acting. I was completely entranced. I would rewind it to watch parts over and over, because there was just something about him, every single muscle in his face, his fingers, it was all committed to whatever he was doing.

I didn't realize until much later that he was the stoneresque character from Twister, even though I had seen that a million times. (Even as a kid crappy fake action movies were near to my heart). I was floored, for two reasons. One, because I typically have amazing facial recognition and it took me so long to piece the two, and also because those characters are just so different. His range is just unheard of.

There's a Welcome to Night Vale quote that goes "A name is a lie that keeps you from thinking you might be more than one single being". Maybe that's why we always use all three of his names.

Rest in peace, Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
posted by FirstMateKate at 6:56 PM on February 2 [11 favorites]


Too damn young.

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posted by bunderful at 6:56 PM on February 2


Wait, what?

I take a few hours out of monitoring the world to research Duran Duran singles, and when I come back, I find out THIS has happened?

PSH was 46. I just turned 46 last month. This is literally a member of my immediate cohort group, dead.

I loved him in basically everything he did. For a lot of reasons, his physical self, his acting ability, the twinkle in his eye, his ability to be great at interviews...

This is a gigantic loss. We had scarcely begun to know his talents.

I need a fucking kleenex.

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posted by hippybear at 7:03 PM on February 2 [7 favorites]


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posted by v9y at 7:03 PM on February 2


The Moment We Knew Philip Seymour Hoffman Was Great
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.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:05 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by ourobouros at 7:14 PM on February 2


There's an interesting Edit War going on at his Wikipedia entry, where mentions of his death are being removed by users who don't feel that news reports are credible sources.
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.

The Talk page.
As of 10:20 PM EST, it still isn't resolved. News of his death either isn't in the article or disappears on refresh.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:21 PM on February 2 [6 favorites]


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posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 7:22 PM on February 2


He seemed like an elegant and classy man, and as others have touched on, he truly inhabited his roles, he was not simply himself performing a version of himself. He made me want to watch more movies. In that way he seemed to be someone to point to, to say, "more artists ought to be like this. Be like him."

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posted by koucha at 7:32 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I think the first thing I remember seeing him in was Scent of a Woman, and then Twister, of all things.

He nailed that character in Twister. I was convinced they had found some kid from local theater to play that part. I could not imagine that anyone not born and raised in Oklahoma would have ever even met someone like that much less pretend to be that guy so convincingly. He was truly dedicated to every part he played.
posted by double bubble at 7:43 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Stay, little Valentine: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014
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.
Matt Zoller Seitz on why Philip Seymour Hoffmann mattered.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 PM on February 2 [11 favorites]


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posted by kneecapped at 8:03 PM on February 2


Synechdoche, NY

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posted by benito.strauss at 8:10 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


I’m so, so sad for the art he never made; I’m so impossibly thankful for what we got.

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posted by sidesh0w at 8:10 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


One more voice in the "Fuck heroin" chorus.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:16 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


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posted by gusandrews at 8:16 PM on February 2


i was just thinking about synecdoche; i like what ebert had to say: "He liked getting inside the head of another person and inside the heart of another person. He said we are constrained in this box of life, but to get to know what it feels like to be a person of another age or race or gender is just a gift. If you're curious and just reach out, you'll find out."
posted by kliuless at 8:25 PM on February 2


> I'm normally pretty cynical about celebrity deaths

He may have gone to awards shows, but I can't recall seeing any red carpet photos of him. Maybe there are some, but they've been wiped from my mind the the acting. So, to me, he isn't a "celebrity."

On Fresh Air last week, Terry Gross talked to Joaquin Phoenix who was doing publicity about Her, but they mostly talked about The Master and she played a long clip of an "auditing" session (starts at 6:49). That voice!

Can we blink & go back to the beginning of the weekend?

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posted by morganw at 8:47 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Time only knows the price we have to pay.

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posted by peripathetic at 9:00 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


One more voice in the "Fuck the War on Drugs chorus". What a waste. Never liked him much, but man did he act.
posted by Windopaene at 9:00 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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posted by Ink-stained wretch at 9:08 PM on February 2


Damn, damn, damn.

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posted by phoebus at 9:17 PM on February 2


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 9:36 PM on February 2


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Definitely the best of his generation. He was the main reason we went to see him in the "Death of a Salesman," and now I'm so glad we did!
posted by Pocahontas at 10:02 PM on February 2


At least half of my favorite movies are Philip Seymour Hoffman movies. This is horrible and shocking and sad.

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posted by Lutoslawski at 10:21 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Addicts lie. And die. And I wish they didn't make families and build friendships and make art that matters while walking this razor wire, because it hurts so much to lose the brightest ones in the room. But then, the hurt is more feeling than we get, most of us, most of the time. And dead junkies don't feel anything at all.
posted by Scram at 10:25 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


I remember seeing him in Happiness, followed shortly by The Big Lebowski. The guy obviously had fantastic range and acting chops, so I looked up his name and started watching everything he worked in from then on. I didn't know much about his personal demons but wish he could have been with us longer.
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posted by benzenedream at 10:30 PM on February 2


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posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:02 PM on February 2


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posted by genehack at 11:05 PM on February 2


Philip Seymour Hoffman, circa 1987, hanging out in a dreadfully maintained NYU dorm room.
posted by nickyskye at 12:13 AM on February 3 [8 favorites]


easily one of the finest actors of his generation.

someone with that kind of talent only comes around once in a generation

Best actor of my generation.

Easily the greatest (male) actor of my generation.

maybe the best actor of his generation.


and yet best know for his supporting roles. something very wrong with this picture.
posted by philip-random at 12:22 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


As someone who's struggled with relapse after relapse (after relapse after relapse) on the blissful poison that is heroin, I understand completely the compulsion to use despite having seemingly everything going for you. Though I don't believe in an afterlife, I wholeheartedly hope that Hoffman's pressures have finally been alleviated, that the pain of addiction no longer has to haunt him. It fucking sucks that it often takes death to scratch that itch with any satisfaction.
posted by item at 1:04 AM on February 3 [13 favorites]


"and yet best know for his supporting roles. something very wrong with this picture."

I wouldn't say that. Leads are usually romantic or heroic in some way, and therefore have to stay within a certain range of behaviour. Too much of the "true brocade of life" as nickyskye puts it, becomes a turn-off or unsympathetic, and the character doesn't seem romantic or heroic any more. A supporting character doesn't have that kind of restriction, and can do anything or be anything. It makes total sense to place the best actors in supporting roles in many cases, since the supporting roles are often the better and more demanding roles.

I guess you could argue that most movies should portray that level of complexity more of the time and stop pandering to shallow romanticism or simplistic concepts of heroism, but I doubt that'll actually happen, and it sounds exhausting even to me.
posted by tel3path at 1:58 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


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posted by Gelatin at 2:25 AM on February 3




I've been an admirer of Hoffman's work since "Twister," which I owned on VHS, yet I somehow never got around to watching "Hard Eight" until Netflix suggested it last week.

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posted by emelenjr at 2:43 AM on February 3


PSH pinged my radar on an episode of Law and Order in the early 1990s. He played a particularly smug and entitled rapist.

I just watched this episode. I've seen it before and remember it more for Megan Gallagher's victim - and for Samuel L Jackson's cameo as a defense attorney.

PSH is in three scenes and has two or three lines. It's not a memorable part, but it's great to have an artifact from the very beginning of his career.

You can watch all his scenes here.
posted by crossoverman at 3:22 AM on February 3 [3 favorites]


Dammit. I heard from WNYC on Saturday about tainted heroin in Pittsburgh, PA: Tainted Heroin Warnings Blanket Pa. As Overdose Deaths Swell. Above link to similar story reported from MA from the day before. I really enjoyed his work. Dammit
posted by xtian at 4:00 AM on February 3


It's a tiny little list, thankfully (and so far) - the people who have passed, and when you think of them and remember all over again that they're just *gone*, and they'll never put anything out into the world again, and it's like a kick in the heart that hurts as much as the last time you felt it. I feel this way about Jim Henson. And David Rakoff (what a desperate loss of such a beautiful person). And now this.
posted by ersatzkat at 5:08 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


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posted by MeiraV at 5:45 AM on February 3


Sigh. My goddaughter's dad has OD'd three times in 18 months, despite all kinds of rehab. Despite two other friends dying in that time. He continues to use, even though he is a single parent. She is only 6, the same age that I was when my dad committed suicide (not OD.) I ache for her, and I already have an outline of the things I will most likely say to her when he dies: he didn't mean to leave you, he couldn't help it, he loved you but he was sick.

Today there's three more kids in the world that woke up without a dad and have to listen to that shit. They are years away from being able to understanding the kind of addiction their father had. Fuck heroin, indeed. SO angry and sad right now. Fuck.

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posted by polly_dactyl at 5:55 AM on February 3 [15 favorites]


xtian: "Dammit. I heard from WNYC on Saturday about tainted heroin in Pittsburgh, PA: Tainted Heroin Warnings Blanket Pa. As Overdose Deaths Swell. Above link to similar story reported from MA from the day before. I really enjoyed his work. Dammit"

Yeah, tainted heroin's been a disaster here in Pittsburgh in the last few weeks. Dozen of deaths.
posted by octothorpe at 6:26 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


I heard this news with a lot of misgivings. I'm a fairly big fan, plus he's a local boy made good, plus I have to respect someone with such a collaborative, generous reputation in a field known for its prima donas.

The heroin thing, though...after so long clean, to just take it up when you have to have seen what it can do...at one level I don't know what to make of it, but at another level, it's unsurprising -- and depressing, for personal reasons. I live with a recovering i.v. heroin user. Before that he was a recovering pill user, who relapsed, and before that a heavy pot-smoker and drinker and occasional benzo-user.

The 'how much pain he must have been in' thing -- I know that gets trotted out a lot, but it glamorizes things. I've spent a of time over the years around people who used substances to alter their feeling -- sometimes heroin, pills, whatever -- and sometimes it was about deep and powerful pain, but mostly as far as I could ever see it was about boredom. I know we don't traditionally shit on people's memory in these things, but it's really important to me not to glamorize drugs with stories about romantic pain. It's just so rarely really about that. It's drugs. It's addiction. It's ugly, not Byronic.

I'm sad and pissed that PSH is gone. he was a true craftsman in a world of artists who never bother to accomplish that, seemed like a truly decent human being from everything I ever heard about him. But I live with someone I care about who's 1 year clean and this tells me that you can be 20 years clean and not be out of danger. That's not what I want to hear.
posted by lodurr at 6:52 AM on February 3 [25 favorites]


He was a great actor, but to me he's the rumpled guy I'd see in the mornings as he dropped off his kids at my daughter's school. Never felt a need to go up to him, but I'm sure he'd have been gracious had I done so. R.I.P. He was my age...
posted by AJaffe at 7:00 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


"and yet best know for his supporting roles. something very wrong with this picture."

I wouldn't say that. Leads are usually romantic or heroic in some way, and therefore have to stay within a certain range of behaviour.


Absolutely. Few performers could be used to better demonstrate the difference between lead actors and character actors than Hoffman. As ninjew points out above, Charlie Wilson's War has Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts putting on costumes and affecting funny accents, and Hoffman just becoming Gust. Almost any of his supporting roles is the same: Scent of a Woman has Pacino's tics and hooo-ahs on full display, Boogie Nights is Mark Wahlberg acting and strutting, and although I love The Big Lebowski, I am always totally aware that that is Jeff Bridges up there in his slippers and shorts. In every case, Hoffman disappeared perfectly into the role. As a lead, he was equally sublime -- Owning Mahowny is an amazing portrait of addiction, and not actorly in the least.

I always felt a personal kinship with Hoffman. I enjoyed his work in every role I had seen him in and he always came across in interviews as down-to-earth. On a different level, he was my age to within a few weeks, and apparently I resemble him enough that people would remark upon it (note: it is not bragging, I think, to compare yourself to a notably unglamorous actor). I had no idea how large a role his addiction played in his life: an addictive personality is something I am all too familiar with.

I miss the quarter-century of good work he still had ahead of him, roles which will now be filled by lesser lights.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:07 AM on February 3 [7 favorites]


.
posted by GrapeApiary at 7:10 AM on February 3


But I live with someone I care about who's 1 year clean and this tells me that you can be 20 years clean and not be out of danger.

I never used heroin, but it's true that it never really goes all the way away. 16 years off the booze & 21 off the nasty stuff, and I still have moments where I wonder "why the fuck do I just have to be good all the damn time?" I have to guard against those thoughts on a daily basis - not that I think about using every day, but the life frustrations that will build up to the point of seeking relief -- those I have to guard against, and they will kick your ass if you let them. It's impossible to really explain to someone who's never been an addict, but there's a moment when you just don't have any defense against the addictive thought, and it can happen at any time. Something just short-circuits all the rational thoughts that it might just be a bad idea, and there you are.

This whole business just breaks my heart for PSH & his kids. I hope your friend can hang in there. I'm rooting for him from over here.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:10 AM on February 3 [6 favorites]


Geez, I clean forgot that that was him in Flawless. Of course it was.

I had no strong feelings about that film, but the tel3mum loved it.
posted by tel3path at 7:27 AM on February 3


Tom Junod, Esquire: Philip Seymour Hoffman's Final Secret
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:53 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


The spike claims another one.

One of the very best actors I have ever seen, on stage or screen. He simply became the character, quite extraordinary, and a huge loss.

But the real human tragedy in all this is that 3 young kids lost their father, for no good reason. Hope they can find some peace out of all this.

RIP PSH
posted by Pouteria at 8:01 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


So I tweeted the following last night:
"It is not my job to correct the whole Internet on drug addiction and relapse" - probably my mantra for the next week or so.
And I don't think there's much to correct here, but this thread and Twitter did inspire some thoughts, so I'm going to post it here hopefully not a derail (if you have thoughts on it specifically, I'm always up for arguing or explaining or answering questions over Mefi Mail) but instead with the deepest respect:

So here's the thing about addiction, specifically heroin addiction.

Contrary to the popular narrative, it's not just something you do because you have a lot of hidden pain. Sometimes it's something you do because you're really happy. Sometimes it's something you do because you're bored.

But there's no level of pain-healing or happiness or contentment or excitement that makes certain addicts not want to use again. It's not an either/or situation.

And it sneaks up on you like a motherfucker. I know someone whose biggest trigger was finding out a loved one was going to be healthy after a long illness. With the relief of worry gone, suddenly he wanted to use out of nowhere for reasons he still can't figure out. (He didn't fortunately.)

And then there's the dreams. No matter how much the thought of using again makes you want to vomit in your waking life, there's little you can do to stop the dreams about drugs from breaking into your sleep. In these dreams, you dream about scoring drugs, you dream about hiding drugs from people who wouldn't be happy to know you were using again, you dream about discussing how to share drugs with people you used to buy drugs with, you dream about cooking up drugs, about preparing needles, about loading pipes. But the biggest kick in the balls is that you never actually get high in these dreams -- only forever teased with it.

Because of people I love and people who love me, the idea of relapsing after 20 years or 2 years or 2 months terrifies me. When I read that Hoffman was thankful he got sober before he got famous, I nod along because I know that for many recovering addicts, having success is terrifying because if things start going right, it also starts to feel like you can handle that thing you used to not be able to keep a handle on.

I offer this not as an excuse but more of an explanation. And maybe it doesn't matter if people sympathize more with recovering addicts after a tragic death like this. But I think it does and I'm glad to see as much of it as I have.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:09 AM on February 3 [61 favorites]


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posted by mayurasana at 8:52 AM on February 3


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posted by brevator at 9:16 AM on February 3


.
posted by smoothvirus at 9:49 AM on February 3


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posted by glhaynes at 10:01 AM on February 3


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posted by seyirci at 10:02 AM on February 3


"Tell him, you know, it’s a think piece about a midlevel band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom. He’ll wet himself.”

Lester Bangs in Almost Famous was my favorite of his many characters.

.
posted by vozworth at 11:20 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


"We did not lose just a very good actor. We may have lost the best one we had." - A. O. Scott, NYTimes
posted by Dragonness at 11:34 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


heroin is a fucking asshole.

No. Heroin is more like your best friend that you met during a rough period in your life. Their devil may care attitude probably seemed like the sort of thing you needed at that point, but the further you moved away from it the more you realized that they were latching onto you and sucking you dry in their recklessness. On a date with new girlfriend, but shit, old friend called and I haven't seen him in a while and he's so fun and sorry babe don't hate me. Every moment spent trying to get away from that destructive phase in your life in constant threat of being ruined by their reappearance.

In hindsight, perhaps asshole is a simpler metaphor.

Also, .

One of the best true actors in cinema, a great loss. Sadly, I am not at all surprised to learn he was an addict. He very much seems the type, based on my minimal knowledge of his personality.
posted by mediocre at 12:06 PM on February 3 [5 favorites]


Goddamn. Just goddamn.

.
posted by R. Schlock at 12:52 PM on February 3


Fuck




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posted by Mental Wimp at 1:00 PM on February 3


.
posted by TrialByMedia at 1:06 PM on February 3


Uther Bentrazor : ...the villain in Mission Impossible III. It was a silly, yet decent action movie, but even then he had this way of coming across as terrifyingly ruthless and brutal while it appeared like he was just sitting there not giving a fuck.

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.

And that's what I liked about him; he was just as willing to play the evil sociopath as the good guy, and he'd do either with equal honesty to the character. Not many people can do that, and we lost one of the greats here.

Fuck.
posted by quin at 1:10 PM on February 3


It's rare to see such a talent, and that makes the tragedy even harder to take. The world is not as bright without him.

.
posted by UseyurBrain at 1:33 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


It's just so rarely really about that. It's drugs. It's addiction. It's ugly, not Byronic.

When he fell off the wagon a year ago, it was due to prescription drugs. So he didn't go from clean right back to heroin. It's a sad story - and it happens a lot. For me, it's more proof that addiction is addiction and not some personality flaw. Drugs are drugs, whether they are prescription or illicit.

*sigh*
posted by crossoverman at 1:40 PM on February 3 [5 favorites]


.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 1:45 PM on February 3


Is it just me or are articles like this one from the Daily Beast not disgusting in how they glamorize the 'branding' of the heroin, obsessively detailing the logos and packaging, etc? Is it not enough to just say, 'he was found with heroin' instead of plastering the damn brand name in the article title, like this is some especially badass form of heroin?
posted by demonic winged headgear at 2:28 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


The odds are against it, but if one person throws out that particular "brand" and doesn't die (others have noted that bad heroin has been going around), then the Beast's details may be forgivable.
posted by Etrigan at 2:55 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


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.
He was so good in that he was even good as Tom Cruise pretending to be him.

Best American actor of a generation, would have reached the heights of Gielgud or Olivier imo. Still so fucking sad.
posted by fullerine at 3:13 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


Would have?

Did, far as I'm concerned.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:46 PM on February 3 [4 favorites]


For several years I lived near him and would see him at the deli or the Starbucks in his hoodie and muffler, or Bermudas and flip-flops; our paths crossed often enough that we were on nodding terms, maybe. Then I'd see him in a movie and be that much more astounded, not just at his talent but at how vastly and fundamentally he seemed to have transformed himself.

Meanwhile, I never knew of his addiction until I read the news stories. So fucking sad.

.
posted by GrammarMoses at 4:07 PM on February 3 [5 favorites]


He should have been prescribed an opioid antagonist like Vivitrol, a monthly injection of Naltrexone to prevent overdose.
posted by larrybob at 4:34 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


FWIW, from The Daily Mail*:

Hoffman had in his possession, the blood-pressure medication clonidine hydrochloride; the addiction-treatment drug buprenorphine; Vyvanse, a drug used to treat attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder; hydroxyzine, which can be used to treat anxiety; and methocarbamol, a muscle relaxer.

Police also discovered several other bags containing white powder.


* Feel scuzzy including the link, but people will find it anyway.
posted by wensink at 5:02 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Forgive me if this post is off-topic and a wee bit long, but given my previous comment and the media source, thought it was relevant (and provides a much needed laugh - especially if you're a fan of How to Get Ahead in Advertising/Richard E. Grant/Bruce Robinson):

Businessman on Train: [reading a newspaper] I see the police have made another lightning raid. Paddington drug orgy.
Priest on Train: [Irish accent] I suppose young girls was involved?
Businessman on Train: One discovered naked in a kitchen. Breasts smeared with peanut butter. "The police took away a bag containing 15 grams of cannibis resin. It may also have contained a quantity of heroin."
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Or a pork pie.
Businessman on Train: I beg your pardon?
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: I said the bag may also have contained a pork pie.
Businessman on Train: I hardly see how a pork pie's got anything to do with it.
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: All right then, what about a large turnip? It may also have contained a big turnip.
Priest on Train: The bag was full of drugs.
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Nonsense.
Priest on Train: The bag was full of drugs, it says so!
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: The bag could have been full of anything. Pork pies, turnips, oven parts. It's the oldest trick in the book.
Priest on Train: What book?
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: The distortion of truth by association book. The word is "may". You all believe heroin was in the bag because cannibis resin was in the bag. The bag may have contained heroin, but the chances are 100 to 1 certain that it didn't.
Businessman on Train: A lot more likely than what you say.
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: About as likely as a tit spread with peanut butter.
Businessman on Train: Do you mind?
Priest on Train: The tit was spread with peanut butter!
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Nonsense.
Priest on Train: It says so! Who's the man you are to think you know more about it than the press?
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: I'm an expert on tits. Tits and peanut butter. I'm also an expert drug pusher. I've been pushing drugs for 20 years. And I can tell you a pusher protects his pitch! We wanna sell them cigarettes and don't like competition, see? So we associate a relatively innocuous drug with one that is extremely dangerous, and the rags go along with it because they adore the dough from the ads!
Businessman on Train: I've had enough of this. I'm getting off at Datchet.
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: [getting even more animated] Getting off at Datchet won't help you! Getting off anywhere won't help you! I've had an octopus squatting on my brain for a fortnight, and I suddenly see that I am the only one that can help you! It would be pointless to go into the reasons why, but I've been worried sick about boils for a fortnight! Large boils, small boils, fast eruptors, they're incurable, all of them!

[the other 3 men leave the compartment and head to the door, Bagley follows them]

Denis Dimbleby Bagley: I know that and so does everybody else, until they get one! Then the rules suddenly change. With a boil on the nose, there's sudden overnight surge in fate, they wanna believe something will work!
[points to the priest]
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: He knows that, which is why he gets a good look-in with the dying.

[they step off the train and shut the door. Bagley sticks his head out of the window]

Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Sells them hope, see? But these boys would be full time into real estate if anyone came up with a genuine cure for death!
Priest on Train: Good God, this is a madman!
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: What do you know about God, you wire-haired mick?

posted by wensink at 5:16 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I don't get this whole brand thing. It's just a stamp. Can't anyone get a stamp that says anything they'd like and then put it on a bag of white powder?
posted by double bubble at 5:21 PM on February 3


A Note About Philip Seymour Hoffman: Addiction Is Not Selfish.
posted by Ned G at 6:08 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


our paths crossed often enough that we were on nodding terms, maybe.

This was the relationship I had with Heath Ledger in Brooklyn for a few years before he died. He would nod and smile at me, and once we both laughed at a dog wearing a sweater. I still don't know what was so funny about that dog. No one else thought it was funny.

I saw PSH a few times when I was in Chelsea, sitting at outdoor restaurants with friends. It's truly weird when a celebrity is a person you see around and then they die - their death is somehow a little more personal, even if you didn't know them and were only on "nodding terms." For weeks I thought I saw Heath around, in the coffee shop we both went to, waiting to cross the street, laughing at a dog. Even though I knew he was gone.

When I first saw the news about PSH I thought, "OMG I'm never going to see him around Manhattan again." Then I thought I was never going to see him in a movie again. Then the terrible sadness of his dying alone, and the ugly things people were going to say about it, started to hit me.

Also so jolting because Heath Ledger also died in January, also in an apartment while estranged from family, also from a drug overdose, in a winter that was much less bleak than this one.
posted by sweetkid at 6:35 PM on February 3 [9 favorites]


Philip Seymour Hoffman: 'He ennobled the 99%'
posted by MissySedai at 6:44 PM on February 3


God, I literally was just reading about Heath Ledger—just closed that tab and refreshed this page. I'm shedding more tears for them both right now. Ledger is someone else who just seemed to be hitting his stride, an actor of such nuance whose last works left us wanting so much more.

My husband and I discovered earlier that we'd both been watching Philip Seymour Hoffman films on our respective computers, him The Big Lebowski, me The Master and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Sigh.
posted by limeonaire at 8:19 PM on February 3


Ugh, and re: hydroxyzine, it's also a potent antihistamine and sleep aid; Hoffman may not have been taking it for anxiety. I don't.
posted by limeonaire at 8:30 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Too talented and too young to have to say good-bye to so soon.

Philip Seymour Hoffman looked older than his 46 years. Weathered. Every role he played was all the more believable because you couldn't help but feel he had already lived it somehow. It was like he knew more than he was telling. Like he'd gone through something and come out the other side untouchable.

And now, of course, we know just what an illusion that was.
posted by misha at 8:42 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


Hoffman and the Terrible Heroin Deaths in the Shadows, from the writer formerly known as MeFi's own The Straightener.

Fuck addiction, and fuck the stigma around it.

.
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:44 PM on February 3 [13 favorites]


Seriously fuck the stigma around it.
posted by goofyfoot at 9:18 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


"And the best way I can describe that feeling is that it is like walking through long, dark corridors holding a candle with a hand poised in front of it, focusing intently on protecting the flame so that it doesn't burn out." - Philip Seymour Hoffman's own words about acting, focusing on his work in Doubt
posted by crossoverman at 9:32 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


And he did his own stunts as well.
posted by PenDevil at 7:24 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


The Grantland obit had something I hadn't seen elsewhere:

. . . in Anderson’s follow-up to Boogie Nights, 1999’s Magnolia, Hoffman played Phil Parma, the borderline-saintly nurse who tries to broker a reunion between Jason Robards and his long-lost son, played by Tom Cruise. Anderson said the character’s gentleness was based on qualities he’d seen in Hoffman . . .

so that part was written specifically for PSH? What would you pay to go out accompanied by a saintly nurse?
That scene with Jason Robards and the last morphine dose could be a recruiting video for No One Dies Alone who appear to not even have a website yet.
posted by bukvich at 7:53 AM on February 4


So here's the thing about addiction, specifically heroin addiction.

Contrary to the popular narrative, it's not just something you do because you have a lot of hidden pain. Sometimes it's something you do because you're really happy. Sometimes it's something you do because you're bored.


I'm always kind of amazed that people assume heroin must be an everything-sucks-I-hate-life drug. Have they never been prescribed codeine? Yeah, it's a bring-you-down kind of modification but so is booze. So is pot. People manage to use those without hiding in a closet and weeping for an hour first.

Our understanding and conversations on addiction and chemical modification in general are just so shit. I had a prof for a psych class on the subject of social deviancy about twenty years ago who asked why people used drugs. Took five people before someone answered with the simple "because they feel good" and it was somewhat shocking to much of the class. But we can't be that honest with ourselves in public about this stuff, we divide the endorphin-chasing up into different societal categories...

Maybe I'm fooling myself and our determination to put everything in its own cubby doesn't make things worse and harder. But it feels to me like this attachment to these false narratives keep us from seeing people who need help, keep us from fixing problems instead of symptoms.
posted by phearlez at 9:57 AM on February 4 [5 favorites]


An excellent post from the great film critic Glenn Kenny: http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/some_came_running/2014/02/heroin-and-creativity.html
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:02 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


Man, Straight Life is a harrowing read, and I love Art Pepper perhaps more than any other alto player, but his story was ultimately just as tragic. So much lost.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:37 AM on February 4


Reusable template for standard moral panic journalism, DEA ceritified edition
posted by tonycpsu at 1:37 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


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posted by m0nm0n at 7:15 PM on February 4


Seth Mnookin, at Slate on the ever-present danger of relapsing and why Philip Seymour Hoffman's death is especially terrifying for addicts in long-term recovery.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:37 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


The Wrestler - Remembering the fights that Philip Seymour Hoffman won
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:35 AM on February 5 [5 favorites]


Philip Seymour Hoffman in conversation on the topic of happiness, last year at the Rubin Museum in NYC.
posted by felix grundy at 9:40 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Russell Brand: Philip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws. In Hoffman's domestic or sex life there is no undiscovered riddle – the man was a drug addict and, thanks to our drug laws, his death inevitable
posted by homunculus at 10:43 AM on February 6 [5 favorites]


That video was really great, felix grundy. Thanks for that.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:53 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


From McSweeneys: In Memoriam: With respect and admiration for Philip Seymour Hoffman, we offer his February 2004 Believer interview in full.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:15 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]


Here's a good article on the reporting on Hoffman's death, by MeFi's own Maias: What Journalists Can Do to Fight Opioid Addiction
posted by homunculus at 2:53 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


The NY Times on Hoffman's last days.
posted by reenum at 7:52 PM on February 6


Fashion labels promote what celebs wore to Hoffman services
posted by homunculus at 1:36 PM on February 7


Cold comfort, but at least his turn in The Hunger Games trilogy was apparently almost entirely completed before his passing. The WSJ says he had only a week's worth of shooting left in the Mockingjay Parts I & II shoot, with only one scene remaining, in which he did not factor heavily. He'll be written out of that scene, but otherwise, his performance will be complete and intact. No reshoots, let alone recasting appear to be necessary to finish his role.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be digital in his final Hunger Games scene
posted by homunculus at 2:38 PM on February 7


Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be digital in his final Hunger Games scene

See, this is what I always thought they should'a done about that Jerry Garcia death problem.
posted by telstar at 11:22 PM on February 10


“Phil was sober for over 25 years and conquered it to the greatest degree one can, given the nature of it,” said David Bar Katz, a playwright and friend who was one of the first two people to discover Mr. Hoffman dead. “He was against every aspect of drug use.”

Except, you know, actual drug use.
posted by telstar at 11:30 PM on February 10


You might be surprised at how many addicts don't want to use.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:43 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


You might be surprised at how many addicts don't want to use.

Exactly. People don't drown because they love to drink water so much.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:52 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


Up above, telstar mentions a naloxone success story and suggests keeping it around.

The group Prescribe to Prevent has a FAQ about the quest to keep naloxone around for people, and lists the cost of an emergency kit as $10. Except that in 46 of the US States it's illegal to prescribe a drug to someone for whom it's not indicated.

So if you went to your doctor and said I know my brother is abusing heroin and I'm worried about him, I'd like to keep some naloxone around in case of emergency, your doc (unless you're in WA, IL, NY or MA) would say sorry bub, I can't. That $20 you'll pay as a preventive measure to keep your family member alive will have to stay in your wallet.

Shameful.
posted by phearlez at 11:15 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


The Mind of a Heroin Addict: the Struggle to Get Clean and Stay Sober.
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:25 PM on February 11


100 Americans die of drug overdoses each day. How do we stop 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.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:53 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Something that article misses, which was discussed recently on NPR, is that up until about 2010, heroin ODs had been on a real decline — it's all prescription stuff driving that trend (about 22k of that 38k in 2010 were prescription overdoses). Heroin has jumped in a pretty huge way recently — I think the number was about an 84 percent jump from 2009 to 2010.

It's worth noting this because heroin and prescription drugs require different intervention strategies to make sure they're effective in preventing deaths — prescription drugs are more likely to be used in combination, and a significant plurality of OD deaths come from mixing opioid pain killers with benzos and other tranqs, whereas the most common comorbidity for heroin is alcohol.

It also sucks that this is likely to lead a backlash against the more liberal prescription of opioids that's happened within the last decade or so — it's been a giant leap forward for end-of-life and palliative care, but it's also corresponded with a massive increase in recreational deaths.
posted by klangklangston at 11:41 AM on February 12


My impression is that straight Naloxone or Naltrexone is probably not as widely used as it used to be. Suboxone and Subutext, though, are growing very common. I've closely observed one addict on Suboxone, and from what I've seen (and read), it's a huge advance over Naloxone on it's own -- and over replacement therapies like Methadone.

But obviously sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes everything doesn't work. You can't heal an addict with a pill, even if it can help give them the breathing space to listen.
posted by lodurr at 8:01 AM on February 13


(I was a little bit taken aback to see that hoffman appeared to have been on subutext, and I wonder if it didn't play a role in an OD. my understanding is that subutext makes it REALLY HARD to get high off heroin.)
posted by lodurr at 8:03 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I tend to forget about Margaret Wente completely and then I stumble across something like this and remember why I try to forget about Margaret Wente completely.
posted by mazola at 8:18 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


remember why I try to forget about Margaret Wente completely.

What an odious woman, to use a platform like hers to deliver such hateful, spiteful rantings. Curse you, mazola, for linking to her. Now I have to forget.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:48 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


.
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 11:42 AM on February 16


General Gandhi/Bro_Pair on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:45 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


I read that General Gandhi piece, and while I sympathize with the perspective, it goes over the top in the other direction so hard that to me, it's just not helpful. The brush used is far, far too broad, and he's seeing much more damning eulogism than I did. Most of what I saw was celebratory, mixed with genuine puzzlement and a real lack of understanding of what it means to be an addict.
posted by lodurr at 2:46 PM on February 20


Philip Seymour Hoffman: not waving but drowning, The Philosopher's Mail, 04 February 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 3:10 AM on February 25


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