It’s been over a month since Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away, but unlike most celebrity deaths after a reasonable amount of time, the wound still seems fresh.
Maybe it’s because of how untimely his passing was – he was only 46-years-old and finally reaching the height of his career. Maybe it’s because of the eccentric Hollywood residents, he seemed so put together. Maybe it’s because we’ve all been robbed of what was sure to be dozens more of some of the best performances ever put on film. Or maybe it’s because we as fans felt closer to him than most actors because of his choice in roles as the awkward, hurting, honest human being. Whatever it is, although other celebrity deaths may have initially hit me harder, Philip’s has had the longest lasting effect. At least once a day I find my mind wandering to how tragic of a loss we have suffered.
Being as this is a film driven blog and how I use writing as therapy, I have sat down to write a post about my favorite actor several times, but I never feel like my words can do him justice. However, I was pleased to see the outpouring of love from casual movie fans to full fledged cinephiles upon the word of his death. After years of having to explain to people who he was, it was heartwarming that so many people appreciated his work.
What touched me the most though, were the stories his friends told about him, not as an actor, but as a man and a father. Philip lived pretty quietly and it was difficult to find stories about his personal life. You could just glean what kind of a person he was through interviews and his art. He wasn’t interested in being flashy or popular; he felt more at ease with the “losers”. He was a loyal friend and a loving, caring father. He had the ability to deeply connect with people on a personal level and it showed in his work. He was one of the greatest talents cinema will ever experience and he will be greatly missed.
If you are unfamiliar with his work, or even if you’re not, I highly recommend you watch this tribute video all the way through without interruptions. As my cousin so eloquently put it, “Sit back with a glass of wine and just spend 20 more minutes with one of Hollywood’s greatest.”