Philip Seymour Hoffman was a powerhouse actor of the screen and stage, a man of tremendous depth and emotional versatility and a dynamic presence who brought gravitas to virtually any project he was involved in. He inhabited a vast array of indelible characters, including real-life journalists Lester Bangs and Truman Capote (in an Oscar-winning role) and some very sleazy, insecure and repulsive men who felt just as true to life.
Many of the parts he took were characters who were not pretty or decent in any way, from the bullish gambling addict in Owning Mahoney to the magnetic cult leader in The Master to an obscene phone stalker in Happiness. However, he brought to these flawed men a humanity that made these characters more than what they seemed. Now dead from an apparent drug overdose at 46, Hoffman’s life was cut far too short.
His exceptional body of work, which spans more than 60 acting credits within 25 years, contains many of the finest American films in recent memory. It was no wonder he drew the attention of so many terrific directors, including Paul Thomas Anderson, Joel and Ethan Coen, Mike Nichols and Sidney Lumet. Hoffman leaves behind a legacy as one of the most dedicated and eclectic actors of his generation, if not the very finest. We anticipate his final films – recent Sundance premieres God’s Pocket and A Most Wanted Man, and the final two installments of The Hunger Games – with a heavy heart.
Join us, as we take a look at some of the late actor’s most essential performances.