6 items from 2014
He didn't audition and I hadn't met him before but I was introduced by John C Reilly, who was his close friend, and we basically pressured him into doing the show. I'd loved him in pretty much everything I'd seen him in: at the very least he was distinctive, and often he was sublime. I had done the production in the West End with Mark Rylance, so I was looking for someone who could match that same mercurial brilliance; something that wouldn't be just a piece of bravura acting. True West is a comedy, and comedy is sometimes seen as more shallow; depth is somehow reserved for more serious drama. The unique thing about Philip was, he could combine the two. I don't keep photos of my productions generally, »
Alexa here. Like Amir, I can't see past the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman this week. We'd become complacent about his greatness: his presence was one you counted on to keep returning, to keep elevating everything he touched. I am so glad that I flew to New York just to see him perform with John C. Reilly in the revival of Sam Shepard's True West in 2000; he was, predictably, a dynamo. While immersing myself in written tributes I've also sought out visual ones; here are some that celebrate a few touchstones in his too-brief career.
Actor and director who could imbue the many wretches, prigs and braggarts he played with a wrenching humanity
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who has died aged 46 of a suspected drugs overdose, had three names and 3,000 ways of expressing anxiety. He was a prolific and old-fashioned character actor, which is not a euphemism for "odd" – it means he could nail a part in one punch, summoning the richness of an entire life in the smallest gesture. And, yes, he could also look splendidly odd, with his windbeaten thatch of sandy hair, porcine eyes and a freckled face that would glow puce and glossy with rage. His acting style was immune to the temptations of caricature. His rise in the 1990s coincided with the emergence of a new wave of American film-makers, and his versatile, volatile talent became integral to some of the most original Us cinema of the past 20 years.
He was »
- Ryan Gilbey
Taking stock of an actor’s legacy on the stage is trickier than summing up a career on screen. After all, we can all go back and watch a film performance with the click of a mouse or by sliding in a DVD. Movies are endlessly available to us. The stage, on the other hand, is a living thing that varies from night to night. Some nights are magical, others less so. But when a show’s run ends, so does its life. It can be remembered, but not relived.
Maybe that’s why I feel incredibly lucky to be »
- Chris Nashawaty
On stage, Philip Seymour Hoffman excelled playing characters driven by desire. As a theatre director, he pushed his actors towards abandon
Although best known for his Oscar-nominated turns in films such as Capote and The Master, Philip Seymour Hoffman was also a visceral stage actor and a sensitive, vigorous theatre director. On stage, he had a savage, vital and vulnerable presence that his film appearances approached, but never really equalled. He traded in a kind of heightened naturalism that made even the most absurd scenarios seem likely. Doughy, slouchy, unhandsome and unkempt, Hoffman distinguished himself with his fierce commitment to preparing roles and his lack of vanity in playing them.
A graduate of New York University, he cut his theatrical teeth downtown, in plays including Caryl Churchill's The Skriker and Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking, before assuming more high-profile roles. He alternated with John C Reilly as Austin »
- Alexis Soloski
Philip Seymour Hoffman, considered to be among the finest actors of his generation, died early Sunday morning in his New York City apartment at age 46. Hoffman, who had spoken openly in the past about his struggles with addiction, was believed to have suffered a drug overdose.
Hoffman was nominated for an Academy Award four times — for Best Supporting Actor in 2008′s Charlie Wilson’s War; 2009′s Doubt, and last year for long-time collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master — and he won the Oscar for Best Actor for 2005′s Capote. He was equally acclaimed for his work in the theater, »
- Sara Vilkomerson
6 items from 2014
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