Sunday, February 09, 2014

Philip Seymour-Hoffman

It's been a week now since my favourite Hollywood actor has died, and so I feel I should say something about it. I think it will be a really long time, if ever, before we will see an actor as amazing as Philip Seymour-Hoffman. His death is a tragedy not only in the loss itself, but in the way in which it happened. I guess it will always remain a mystery to those of us who lead our normal day-to-day lives, the normal work world where you just make enough money to get by -- a mystery as to why so many celebrities seem to fall into the web of addictions that can lead to the very ending of their life. For me, it just highlights the fact that there must be voids in all of us that go beyond the realm of [seemingly] endless opportunity to fix them through success or money. I've spent a lot of the weekend watching old clips of Seymour-Hoffman, and watching interviews. When he accepted the Oscar for his lead role in Capote, Hoffman reserved the highest praise for his mother, who single-handedly raised him and his three siblings. It just seemed so poignant to me. Why does a person need to leave such a stage amid the accolades of your peers -- at the pinnacle of your career -- and from there, lock yourself away in a bathroom, with heroin? It's a mystery deeper than the plot of any movie.
I will miss him on the screen. He always seemed to me to be the type of person I would have loved to have known as a friend. In this clip [below] I agree with David Edelstein when he suggests that Hoffman's special gift was his "anti-vanity." The way in which he "…homed in on the grotesque. He thought you'd have more empathy for people who were reprehensible, because deep down we all know how flawed we are."
What a loss. What a sad and tragic loss.

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