The news that Philip Seymour Hoffman died shocked me more than it had the right to. I don’t claim to be a huge fan of the actor, but news of his death had me shaking my head in disbelief for a good while.
Hoffman may not have been a ‘superstar’, but he was the type of actor to routinely steal a film from the headliners – he did this in every film I saw him in. The perfect example is Mission Impossible 3 – a film which was otherwise boring and bland save from the scenes which Hoffman appeared in.
Another fantastic performance which stayed with me was his turn in the 2008 film Doubt. Hoffman played the role of a Catholic priest accused of abusing an altar boy. This is a deeply uncomfortable film which delves into a subject matter that is very real for the Catholic church, even to this day. This film could have been an unwatchable heavy piece of work but it somehow turned out to be a triumph. A lot of the credit for this has to go to Hoffman who makes a character accused of an unimaginable crime… likable (I felt sick typing that). I’d also like to add that the man stood his ground opposite Ms Meryl Streep.
At the end of the day, this is a tragedy. I have people close to me who suffer from addiction and stuff like this makes me worry for them more. Forget the films and his talent, his kids have lost their father and that is heart-breaking.