One of my favorite movies that Philip Seymour Hoffman has starred in was Doubt. He possessed a quiet intellect about him where I not only questioned if he, indeed, committed an awful crime against a young boy, but Philip Seymour Hoffman, the person. Since then, I went backwards into his filmography, watching movies such as Boogie Nights and Almost Famous. He was an actor’s actor, the kind of actor other actors study in awe, hoping that his talent could be sucked in somehow through osmosis. If only.
I never knew about his past. I never knew, until yesterday, that he had already gone to rehab to battle his drug dependencies. I didn’t even know that he had three children. I had only read a few articles about Hoffman, and remember a particularly well-written one from The Hollywood Reporter some years back. That was enough for me. I was content in seeing his talent and knowing that a man of his artistic caliber was alive in the world.
I didn’t know him personally and now I never will. But a great actor like Hoffman is rare. Whatever his demons were, I choose to celebrate his art and remember that. The fight against drugs will unfortunately live on past this man and we all have to remember that too and have the courage to connect and air out our fears with others face-to-face.
Rest in peace Philip Seymour Hoffman.