Tag Archive | February 2nd

Eight Favorite Acting Roles by Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous (with Patrick Fugit)

By now, everyone with an Internet connection knows that American Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died early this morning, February 2nd, 2014 of an apparent Heroin Overdose in his NYC apartment. He was just 46 years old. I am currently inconsolable over this tragic news. Hoffman was certainly among my favorite actors and I don’t think I ever saw film he was in where he didn’t blow me away with his ability to transform into his character. He was comparable to a male version of Meryl Streep when it came to his versatility. What a huge loss.

Here are a few of my favorite film roles Hoffman played over the years.

Almost Famous: Hoffman played the late Rock Critic Lester Bangs, who mentors a young William Miller (a character played by Patrick Fugit, and based on director Cameron Crowe) as he takes on a feature assignment for Rolling Stone Magazine.

Boogie Nights: Hoffman was totally believable as Scotty J., a shy, socially awkward, gay film assistant who has a hopeless crush on Porn Star Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg).

Magnolia: In Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble drama, Hoffman had the role of Phil Parma, a private nurse who attempts to bring about a reconciliation between his terminally ill patient (played by Jason Robards) and that patient’s misogynistic son (Tom Cruise).

Red Dragon: Hoffman was so good at playing slimeball Reporter Freddy Lounds, you almost hated to see him get brutally tortured and killed. Almost.

Capote: Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2005 for his flawless portrayal of the flamboyant author, Truman Capote.

Synecdoche, New York: Hoffman plays ailing theater director Caden Cotard, who sets out to stage a theatrical production of his life story that takes on a life of its own. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you are on LSD without actually taking any drugs, watch this movie.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead: Hoffman plays Andy Hanson, one of two brothers (his costar is Ethan Hawke) who plan to execute a “perfect crime” that goes horribly, tragically wrong. The final film directed by Sidney Lumet; highly recommended.

The Master: Playing the part of a charismatic cult leader not-so-loosely-based on L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology fame, Hoffman earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as Lancaster Dodd.

RIP and Godspeed.

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Sid Vicious: Dead at Twenty-One

On This Date, February 2nd, in 1979: Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious (Born Simon John Ritchie) died of a heroin overdose in New York City. He was 21 years old. Sid did not live a long life, and that is a shame. But he was such a mess when he died, it is difficult to speculate on the type of person he might have become had he never met/murdered Nancy Spungen, and eventually gotten his act together. Some people just aren’t built to last (see also Darby Crash and Kurt Cobain), so maybe it’s a moot point to even entertain such thoughts as what he might be like in his fifties, if he were alive today. I recently watched the Sex Pistols mockumentary, The Great Rock & Roll Swindle (thank you Netflix for making this possible) and really enjoyed it. The Swindle, not unlike Sid, is a huge mess, but is nevertheless wild nostalgic fun – especially for its inclusion of the videos for “Silly Thing,” sung by Pistols’ drummer Paul Cook and “Lonely Boy,” performed by guitarist Steve Jones. Those songs are awesome. You can also see Sid’s iconic rendition of “My Way,” as well as Eddie Cochran’s hits “C’Mon Everybody” and “Something Else.” Worth adding to the queue, for sure. Rest in Peace, Sid.