As far as mourning for celebrities goes, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s passing is probably one of those memorable events in my young adult life.
There are actors that act just for the sake of awards or big-budget film success. Then there are actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman. As a dilettante dabbling in appreciating film and movies, Hoffman was someone who made a mark when it comes to his film roles.
There’s just something visceral with Hoffman as he acts. As I said, I’m not an expert on this stuff but my earlier memories of seeing him perform even in the Mission Impossible franchise always stuck with me. Maybe it’s with the way his face reddens to a turnip color when his character is gobbled up by emotion or his approach to acting that almost seemed normal. He had a way in drawing emotions from deep within instead of just logically thinking about how he’d look like on screen.
His 2005 Oscar win for the biopic “Capote” is well-deserved. Not only did he look like the part as non-fiction novel pioneer and writer of celebrity status Truman Capote but he exuded literary elegance off the screen. One of his more recent portrayals on film as a political campaign manager in “Ides of March” schooled me on the importance of loyalty as a trait that we should practice among others. Even when pitched in with George Clooney and Ryan Gosling on screen, his cigarette-smoking character made me want to puff a stick myself.
And even as he was being held by Ralph Fiennes in the 2002 film adaptation of Thomas Harris’ action thriller “Red Dragon,” you can still feel his fear from your seat. His character maybe made you want to feel that he deserved the fiery exit but that was all Hoffman. Even as a side character, Philip Seymour Hoffman commanded attention and his selection of roles will continue to amaze viewers in the years to come.