Monday 3 February 2014

Philip Seymor Hoffman 1967 - 2014

There are few actors that struck me as genuinely original when I watched a movie and Philip Seymor Hoffman was definitely one of them. I will never forget watching him in the role of personal assistant in The Big Lebowsky. His deference mixed with badly concealed menace and contempt was absolutely stunning. This was my first 'brush' with watching an actor who was absolutely top class and next came his portrayal of the male nurse in Magnolia and the CIA agent in Charlie Wilson's War (alongside Tom Hanks) which displayed his breathtaking versatility.

Philip Seymor Hoffman

There were moments of intensity in his acting that came close to those by Al Pacino (in his better roles), yet in addition, Hoffman added an authenticity to his characters that was almost shocking. His acting breathed a depth of performing that was simply unrivalled by most English speaking actors. Whilst others manage to genuinely transform themselves into their characters (think of De Niro), Hoffman didn't just transform himself in his acting, he revealed full scale personalities through it. That's why he was the best choice to play Truman Capote, a role he not only mastered but made come to life for those who watched.

Hoffman must have been one of the few actors I would make a point of going to see in a newly released movie. He will be missed.

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