Philip Seymour Hoffman Almost Famous

It was very sad news yesterday, when I saw a story pop on facebook, saying that the great actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead in his apartment. I like many film fans hoped that it was a hoax, but alas it seems he died of an overdose.

I’m not gonna pretend that he was my favourite actor, but he was an amazing presence in nearly every film he was in.  You only have to look at his IMDB page to see the huge amount and very varied films he acted in during his career. For me personally I think the first film I noticed him in was Twister, where he played Dusty, a live wire storm chaser, it’s funny but I forgot he was in, until I watched it again recently and had one of those, “oh it’s him” moments.  From there he went into Boogie Nights which brought him to a lot of people’s attention, and his career really took off, with classic films like The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, and in 2005 he won the best actor Oscar for his role as Truman Capote in Capote. He was nominated a further 3 times but never won another, something you can believe he probably would have done if he hadn’t been taken away. As well as award magnet films he has also did some more mainstream movies and was brilliant as the bad guy Owen Davian in JJ Abrams, Mission Impossible III, he showed real menace, something bad guys have been lacking of late. For me though my favourite performance was in Cameron Crowe’s amazing, Almost Famous, This is one of my favourite films and he was one of the best things in it, playing Lester Bangs, a real music journalist from the 60’s-70’s. In the film he takes the young William Miller under his wing and warns him about being friends with the bands he is writing about, and is very funny. If you haven’t seen this film, I can’t recommend it enough, it’s sort of based on director Cameron Crowe’s own teenage years where he became a journalist for Rolling Stone magazine and followed bands around the United States.

It is very sad that we have lost a great actor, who has brought us many memorable performances, in a very varied array of films, and at least we have those to look back on, if we don’t have those potential amazing films he would have gone on to make. He will be missed.