As Australia is around 17 hours ahead of US time zones, I awoke to the disbelief on Monday morning that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead with a needle hanging out of his arm. I literally pondered the situation for what seemed liked an eternity until my subconscious took over and racing through my mind were his movies.
He maintained progressive range with his film selection, comedy, drama or even action was part of the repertoire. Always impressive, Phillip Seymour Hoffman transcended quality into everything, genius actor. You may not often see his face while lurking the corridors of the multiplex inspecting posters, but if his name was in the cast list, I immediately had to see that film.
He spent some time at the Sydney Theatre Company recently directing a local version of the Sam Shepard play, True West. Cate Blanchett is a patron of the iconic company; alongside her husband, she remained close friends with him after appearing together in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
A regular on Bondi Beach in Eastern Sydney, the pesky local media mostly left him alone, but the lifeguards didn’t. He and his family made once prime time news when an over zealous beach patrol unit shuffled him back into the safety swimming zone. Unknown to the patrol was that they were ordering a Hollywood star around.
Various Australian connections include a sleazy turn in Along Came Polly with one of our local legends Bryan Brown, while also lending his voice opposite Toni Collette to the animated comedy, Mary & Max.
As movies are my life, I am always shocked when actors pass away no matter what their status in tinsel-town. It sucks that a thespian as young as Philip, who substantially did something on screen no matter what the character was, is gone.
Lets hope he is looking down from that great silver screen in the sky with Peter O’Toole, having a drink in the company of those never forgotten, celluloid dearly departed. Here are six of his best work, according to ME:
Honorable mentions to Twister and Boogie Nights.
The 25th Hour – That pivotal moment when he kissed Anna Paquin was an unforgettable scene.
The Big Lebowski – Minor but oh so uncomfortably funny. Look at his face when approaching Tara Reid by the pool with Jeff Bridges.
Magnolia – It took me to another place when I first saw that, his desperation was heartbreaking in a movie bursting with emotion.
Nobody’s Fool – Early in his career that brilliant actor was already clearly on show opposite Paul Newman.
The Master – I didn’t particularly like this. It annoyed me, that’s because Hoffman was so good he irritated me; I hated the character.
MI3 – Forget Cruise or the impressive cameo by Keri Russell, PSH brought the ailing franchise back with his nasty Bond -like villain.