Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the most talented actors of his generation died Saturday from an apparent heroin overdose. The 46-year old actor appeared in more than 50 films over the course of his career, and won an Oscar for “Capote.” As The Atlantic writes, “He could puff himself up and play larger than life, but his specialty was to find the quiet dignity in life-sized characters—losers, outcasts, and human marginalia.”
His characters were schlubby, loveable, tragic and always human. In 2010, he talked to KCRW’s The Treatment about his directorial debut, “The best acting and the best writing comes from that place of mystery — you don’t know what’s coming.”
In a 2012 interview with Esquire he said:
“What you go through with another actor in a good play or film, something that’s well-written and that means something deeply to both of you, is a very intimate thing. It’s like, I’m here for you, you’re here for me. And you’re silently pushing each other forward and up. You’ll never look at those people the same way again for the rest of your life.”
An actor since high school, Hoffman was a longtime member of New York’s Labyrinth Theater Company, whose mission includes bringing more diversity to the stage. The company’s artistic director is Mimi O’Donnell, Hoffman’s partner with whom he had three children.
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir writes of the actor:
He had never imagined becoming a movie actor, he explained, and didn’t feel comfortable with the entire publicity machinery around the film business. “I always thought I’d be a New York theater actor, riding my bicycle to rehearsal,” he said. “That was all I ever wanted.” Maybe someone would recognize him once in a while at the grocery store, and tell him, “Oh! I loved you in that Chekhov play!”
Philip Seymour Hoffman had struggled with drug addiction in the past, and more recently checked himself into rehab after a struggling with a prescription pill addiction, that led him to use heroin.
He will be missed.